Update: TV meteorologist might have been partially responsible for tornado traffic jam

Aerial view of traffic jam caused by people attempting to flee May 31, 2013 tornadoes near Oklahoma City
News Channel 9OKC

New information has surfaced about a massive traffic jam caused by residents of the Oklahoma City area attempting to flee a May 31 tornado. Reporter Alice Mannette of the Reuters wire service reports that Mike Morgan, chief meteorologist for Oklahoma City television station KFOR, told viewers during a tornado warning to get in their cars and drive away from a threatened storm. As Mannette writes, “The result was a ‘nightmare’ on the roads, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said.” See the full story.

I’m wondering why an 11-time weather broadcast award winner would fail to imagine what would happen if his viewers heeded such advice. I see this as a significant lapse in judgment. What do you think? Add your comment below.

One thought on “Update: TV meteorologist might have been partially responsible for tornado traffic jam”

  1. I got an email about this post from a friend who’s in the broadcast meteorology business.

    He wrote that some of his friends were out there chasing and got stuck in the OKC grid lock.

    This friend agrees that attempting to evacuate in advance of tornadoes is a bad idea. But he thinks everyone also has to take personal responsibility for their own safety and have a good plan to protect themselves. As my friend put it, living in Oklahoma and not owning or having access to a shelter is irresponsible.

    Also, this friend agrees that leaving your house in your car because of a tornado is bad practice. You have a better chance of surviving a tornado in your tub than your car.

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