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Thursday, June 18, 2009

"I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore"
or my night caught in circular signature Hell... 


Last night's weather was WACK! Seriously, I need to use a stronger word here...fucking Armageddon! It started off with severe T-storms and rapidly progressed to countless sightings of what the weather prognosticators dub "circular signatures" or atmospheric conditions which could lead to tornadic activity. And did in one instance. 

There were tons of lightning strikes to go along with the heavy, heavy downpours. 

The crazy thing is this storm line didn't weaken as the evening progressed. It actually seemed to get stronger at some points. A link to more viewer photos, including a funnel cloud spotted in a suburb, posted on the KDKA website is here.

The fun and games at the Special K started at 4pm. The entire three hour news block (yeah...we do three hours of LOCAL news every night. Seriously. Three. Hours. We barely have enough crap to report for one hour, let alone three, but, yeah...three hours. It's madness, I say. Madness. But I digress...) became pretty much the Weather Channel with a smattering of news and a tad of sports.

We signed off at 6:55pm only to sign back on for a special report from 7:08pm through eternity...well, midnight. And that sign off time took some cajoling. 

Okay, this time around our continual on-air presence was actually valid. There was some major scary shit going down. Four times during the evening our studio lights took a hit and went out. We were able to get those back on quickly. Some equipment hiccuped for a bit and we had some semi-substantial flooding in our basement...the NEWLY renovated basement which was completely totaled by a water main break several years ago. 

You know, you do what you have to do in these circumstances. Every one stays in place as long as it takes, but, come on! They didn't even feed us. I realize the weather was such that nobody was going to be delivering pizza, but they didn't even think to go buy snacks for the crew and talent shackled to the set for eight straight hours. As we say in Pittsburgh, that's just ignorant.

Towards the later half of the long, long evening, everyone on the set started getting tired and punchy from low blood sugar. Our collective 12-year-old boy sense of humor came out to play. Everything uttered from the weather man sounded dirty...all that talk about banging and pounding. Multiple "that's what she said" moments. Plus our male anchor read a story in which the phrase "horizontal drilling" was prevalent. I couldn't look at him while he was reading, because I new he'd crack up on air. Yeah, that kinda crap's a morale lifter for all of us during these times. 

Anywho, it's all said and done and now this morning the confluence of our three rivers looks like this. 

Pretty. There's a lot, A LOT of clean up to do, but no one died or got washed away. It could have been so much worse.

But really. Next time people. PIZZA!! Order pizza!! 

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