New WRAL Documentary Revisits Deadly N.C. Tornados

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Focal Point: “Twist of Fate”
New WRAL Documentary Revisits Deadly N.C. Tornados

Airs Wednesday June 3, 2009, 7pm

 “You could smell these people’s breakfast, but the house, the kitchen and their lives were gone.” 
— Jefferson Weaver, a local newspaper reporter on walking through the debris of the 2006 Riegelwood tornado.

Focal Point North Carolina ranks first in the number of nighttime tornado fatalities in the US and 15th in total tornado deaths.   The worst tornado outbreak in our state’s modern history occurred 25 years ago in 1984 when a powerful low-pressure system swept across the southeast spawning twisters across eastern North Carolina that killed 42 people and injured hundreds of others.

WRAL’s new Focal Point documentary “Twist of Fate” revisits some of our state’s deadliest tornados and includes interviews with tornado survivors, first responders and footage of tornados and their aftermath.  The documentary is hosted by WRAL-TV Anchor/Reporter Kelcey Carlson and airs Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 7pm on WRAL-TV.

The North Carolina News Network recently produced a series “Storm Safety” about tornados. Listen here.

There have been many advancements in forecasting since those storms 25 years ago in an effort to give people more warning and increase their changes of avoiding and surviving tornados.   But the fact that tornados continue to kill North Carolinians shows that there is still a long way to go when it comes to preventing tornado fatalities. 

“Twist of Fate” offers a behind the scenes look at meteorologists tracking tornado development. The documentary also examines what forecasters have learned in the years since the 1984 tornado outbreak and looks at new developments to help better forecast tornados and warn people who might be in harm’s way.

Focal Point
“Twist of Fate” is the latest episode in the WRAL documentary series called Focal Point.  These in-depth news documentaries focus on a single topic, bringing depth and clarity to complicated issues facing North Carolina.  From North Carolina’s economy and environment, to health care and race relations – Focal Point takes viewers inside the lives of the people most affected.  Focal Point tackles the tough questions with leaders and policymakers who have the power to effect change.  WRAL News anchors, including David Crabtree, Pam Saulsby, Bill Leslie, Gerald Owens and Debra Morgan, host the series.  Six to eight new episodes of Focal Point will be produced each year. 

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clay Johnson for this capcom story.

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