Once the weather service issued a tornado warning for the Joplin, Mo., area on May 22, local TV and radio stations followed protocol for severe weather, ramping up their weather coverage in the 90 minutes or so before the twister hit at around 5:30 p.m. either with cut-ins or going wall-to-wall. But such alerts had become so frequent, especially lately, that even the station staffers themselves did not take them as seriously as subsequent events demonstrated they should have. After the storm hit, news teams scrambled to figure out what exactly had happened and how they could help their striken community.
TV network anchors rushed to Joplin, Mo. Sunday night to cover the devastating tornado that killed at least 89 people.