February 06, 2008

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

to bring you a pontificating spokesman from the U.S. Weather Service, who will conduct a lecture on meteorology, your need for being prepared, and a brief history of tornadoes in the mid-south. And, we also interrupt this broadcast to bring you a slightly delayed news conference by the mayors of both the city of Memphis and Shelby County and their spokespeople. The information was intended primarily for the residents of Hickory Hill, which sustained the worst damaged in the city, but since they don't have electricity and it is projected that it will take a minimum of 3 weeks to restore their service, they couldn't watch it. They were advised to seek shelter with friends and relatives. Barring that, go to a hotel/motel/Quality Inn.

Turns out that this is the strongest tornado to hit this area in 14 years. Also, it is rare for them to occur in winter but they do happen when the factors align (like Tuesday and two weeks ago). I don't know whether to be comforted or not. I was enjoying that 73 degree weather but, in February? There was also a 15 minute lead time in warning. Hmmm. When the sirens went off in Ripley, about 9:45 p.m., I found shelter. The problem is I didn't know when it was safe to come out.

Oh, they also advise that you obtain a weather radio. Am I supposed to leave it running all the time? I understand tornadoes are accompanied by a sound like a freight train. The trains run about 500 feet or so from the house. I'm thankful for the air sirens in Ripley. I'd be in the closet 24/7. And, I must find family and friends to bunk in with. Like that is going to happen. RLMAO.

Watching the devastation in Fayette(FA-ette), located between Jackson and Memphis, to the east of me, is unreal. They had no air sirens. The destruction of the buildings at Union College, in Jackson, is also unreal. Students were trapped in the dorms. It was interesting to learn that they had received tornado training. Where do I sign up? I am so very blessed. Giving mighty thanks!

All of this to say that I reacted to the interruption in broadcasting in much the same manner as the folks did last night when "American Idol" was knocked off the air. I was pissed. I was waiting to find out how this woman duped a family into believing that she was pregnant on Judge Alex--I guess I'll never know--when the mayors came on in the middle of the afternoon. Excuse me! Didn't people need to know the status of city services before 1:30 p.m.? The weather service's assessment could have been folded into the nightly news. I use the daytime programming as a clock so when you interrupt the schedule.... I know that each of Judge Joe Brown's cases last about 15 minutes. Don't throw me off track! I'll give the news station credit. They realized that the young man from the weather service was "talking loud and saying nothing," and returned to the regular program. Thank you. Now, I can get to my good job on time.

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