Florence: News Channel Takes Shelter Live on Air Over Tornado Warning

September 16, 2018 Updated: September 16, 2018

Staff at a North Carolina news station was forced to shelter in place due to a tornado warning triggered by Florence.

The news team at WWAY in North Carolina was reporting on a tornado threat in the area on Sept. 16 when they were told that it wasn’t safe to stay on set due to a tornado in Leland.

“Three days of hurricane coverage and we just had to run out of the studio because of a tornado that headed near the station. We are all OK,” the station tweeted at 1 a.m. ET.

“OK guys, we are going to have to stop coverage right now because we have got to get to our safe zone right now,” one reporter said on the air, ABC11 reported. “So please take shelter, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.”

Marissa Yoder then tweeted photos of the WWAY team and wrote: “The @WWAY team had to shelter in place because of a #Tornado. These warnings are NO JOKE. Please take them seriously.”

The news channel then tweeted at 1:45 a.m.: “We are all OK. Everyone followed instructions and took cover. Then we found a leak in the studio ceiling. Everyone pitched in to get us back on air on our interview set and address the leak. #TeamWWAY #YouMayGoFlo.”

Update on Florence

In its 5 a.m. update on Florence, which hit the Carolinas as a Category 1 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said it weakened to a tropical depression with 35 mph winds, and it is moving west at 8 mph.

“A turn toward the northwest with an increase in forward speed is expected today, followed by a turn toward the north and northeast with an additional increase in forward speed on Monday. On the forecast track, Florence’s center will move across the western Carolinas today and then recurve over the Ohio Valley and Northeast U.S. Monday and Tuesday,” according to the NHC.

It added that between “5 to 10 inches, with storm total accumulations of 15 to 20 inches in western North Carolina. These rainfall amounts will produce catastrophic flash flooding, prolonged significant river flooding, and an elevated risk for landslides in western North Carolina and far southwest Virginia.”

People move a wood and metal structure off a roadway after winds from Hurricane Florence blew it off a sales lot in Florence, S.C., Sept. 14, 2018. (Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

And for northern South Carolina and southern North Carolina, “An additional 4 to 6 inches, isolated 8 inches. This rainfall will result in additional flash flooding while also exacerbating the river flooding. Storm total accumulations of 30 to 40 inches in southeast North Carolina,” the agency added.

The Weather Channel reported that 10 people were killed in Florence in North Carolina, and one person was killed in South Carolina.

“Powerful torrents of water are flooding homes, wiping out roads and sweeping away cars in North Carolina,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news conference on on Sept. 15, according to the channel. “I’m here with an urgent travel warning: Stay off the roads in most parts of the state of North Carolina.”

Officials said that 650,000 customers are currently still without power.

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