The Washington Post

Hurricane Sandy’s path to sanity: Local stations go low-drama

(STEVE NESIUS/REUTERS) early this morning warned of a “triple whammy”:

The winds will increase Sunday night in the Tidewater of Virginia and spread north through the day on Monday. The best guess right now is that the peak winds will come in overnight Monday night... near high tide and under a full, flooding moon. A triple whammy.

Jason Samenow of The Post’s Capital Weather Gang gives the preparational dimension of things: “Today is THE day to get ready for Sandy. Sunday into Sunday night will offer the chance as well, although rain chances increase and winds slowly ramp up during that time. The worst part of the storm, increasingly, looks to be from Monday through Tuesday in the Washington, D.C. area.”

Sample, also, a high level of meteorological talent surge among local TV stations up and down the region. We’ll look at three examples right here.

Here’s Justin Drabick of CBS3 Eyewitness News in Philadelphia, riding some excellent screen graphics to a calm assessment of the storm. “The timing and track a little bit uncertain at this point, but nonetheless, a lot of heavy rain headed our way beginning during the day on Sunday.”

View more videos at:

Here’s Raphael “Just the Facts” Miranda of NBC4 in New York City, telling us all about the expected wind speeds, the size of the expected storm surges and the amount of expected rainfall. Virtually no foaming at the mouth. Note the lack of emotion in Miranda’s voice as he says, “Dealing with a storm surge threat that may be up to 10 feet. Could see records here with this storm surge and we’ll be watching those high tides.”

Next is NBC40’s Dan Skeldon, giving us a full 10 minutes of level-headed storm analysis (you must click on that link to see the video; no embedding is available). NBC40 covers South Jersey, which has a lot at stake in Hurricane Sandy. The highlight of Skeldon’s presentation comes when he examines whether Sandy takes a sharp left or a gradual left off the eastern seaboard. The upshot? “Either the rain is the problem or the winds and tidal flooding are the problem. But either way, again, we’re not escaping significant impact.” What more do you need from your local forecaster?

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

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