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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Bettes’

After Suffering Symptons of PTSD, Mike Bettes Is Back for Tornado Week


It was an especially violent tornado season last year for Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes, but he’s ready to return for the network’s upcoming “Tornado Week.” Bettes and his crew were in a “Tornado Hunt” truck that was thrown about 200 yards by the powerful El Reno tornado (pictured above) on May 31.

Bettes was left with cuts on his face, hands, and arms. He also swallowed glass and got three stitches on his left hand. His photographer Austin Anderson experienced even more severe injuries, but has fully recovered.

“It was tough in the weeks and months following the tornado,” Bettes tells TVNewser. “I definitely had symptoms of PTSD, but time has helped, as well as the support from my family and coworkers. Ultimately, knowing how much our viewers rely on us to bring them timely tornado warnings has motivated me to report from the field again.”

Bettes is also taking extra safety precautions this year.

“We will do everything we can in the future to assure a large buffer zone between our crew and the storm,” he says. He’ll also insist on “multiple exit routes to help us escape quickly in the event that a tornado makes an unexpected turn.” Bettes will be on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” later this morning.

“Tornado Week” on the Weather Channel begins tomorrow.

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Austin Anderson Undergoes Surgery, Bummed He’ll Miss Hurricane Season

Weather Channel producer/photographer Austin Anderson underwent surgery today for injuries suffered during Friday night’s swarm of tornadoes outside Oklahoma City. Anderson suffered a cracked sternum, five broken ribs and a broken cervical vertebra. Surgeons installed four rods and eight screws to his spinal column.

The Texas-based freelancer talked with the Austin American-Statesman‘s Ken Herman about the ordeal last night.

“We were on the north and east side of this particular thunderstorm,” Anderson said, identifying that as “the dangerous side.” They tried to get to the safer side. But, “for some strange, unknown meteorological reason, it turned abruptly to the left and headed right for us.”

“The windows blew out as the car began to lift into the air from the tornado and it started tumbling broadside,” he said. “We were all strapped in.”

“We must have rolled 10-15 times,” Anderson said, “We hit the ground and rolled some more and landed on the wheels with the top of the driver’s side completely pancaked down to the steering wheel where I was sitting.”

Anderson, along with meteorologist Mike Bettes and cameraman Brad Reynolds, who were also in the vehicle, were able to get out of the truck. Their equipment was strewn over a 150-yard area. Anderson found his cellphone and called home. He’ll be in a back brace for three months, telling Herman, “I’m going to miss all of hurricane season.”

(Photo: Kim Nugent-Anderson)

Veteran Storm Chasers Remember Tim and Paul Samaras, Carl Young

Following the news that storm chaser Tim Samaras was killed on Friday, along with his son Paul Samaras and storm chasing partner Carl Young, veteran chasers have taken to TV to remember him.

The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes, who was injured in the same line of storms that killed Samaras, spoke to Al Roker about Samaras:

ABC’s Ginger Zee, who knew Tim through her former boyfriend and fellow chaser Reed Timmer, shared her thoughts on his passing:
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Weather Channel’s Austin Anderson To Undergo Surgery After Tornado Hit

Weather Channel camera operator and producer Austin Anderson–who was driving the channel’s “Tornado Hunt” truck when it was thrown about 200 yards by a tornado–is still in the hospital following the incident. Anderson is expected to undergo surgery this week for the injuries he suffered in the crash.

“Austin has braved many tornadoes with our teams in the field and has courageously pursued these severe weather systems in the name of science,” said a Weather Channel spokesperson in a statement. “He is like family to us here at The Weather Channel and we of course send our well-wishes and thoughts to Austin and his family for his speedy recovery.”

Anderson, along with on-air meteorologist Mike Bettes and a third, unidentified crew member were able to walk away from the crash, though Anderson’s injuries became apparent once they were taken to the hospital.

The full Weather Channel statement, below.
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Bloom Mobile Damaged in Oklahoma Twisters

The Bloom Mobile, NBC’s mobile transmission vehicle which has been to Iraq and back, sustained damaged in last night’s series of tornados in Oklahoma. The truck was part of the Weather Channel’s Tornado Hunt 2013 entourage. As we told you last night, another truck was destroyed and the three people inside, including meteorologist Mike Bettes suffered minor injuries. Brad Reynolds, a Chicago-based freelance cameraman tweeted the image, left, of the damage to the rear of the Bloom Mobile which is named for the late NBC News anchor David Bloom who rode aboard a similar mobile unit during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 reporting live as the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division made its way to Baghdad.

NBC’s Anthony Quintano also Tweeted this before and after shot of the Bloom Mobile.


Weather Channel’s Tornado Hunt Truck Destroyed by Tornado

A severe line of weather stretching from Oklahoma City to St. Louis has kept the cable news channels in extended coverage tonight and destroyed at least one Tornado Hunt truck operated by the Weather Channel.

Meteorologist Mike Bettes and his crew of two were in the truck that was thrown about 200 yards by a twister. Storm chaser Sean Schofer stopped to help and on Twitter writes, “They are OK.” The Weather Channel says Bettes and the two others were wearing seat belts and were able to walk away from the wreck.

On Fox News, Shepard Smith began continuous coverage during his 7pm show and continued until 11pmET, preempting Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Greta Van Susteren‘s shows. Kelly Wright and Heather Childers picked up at 11pm and will stay on until 2amET. On CNN, meteorologist Chad Myers has been chasing the storms for several days in Oklahoma and contributed to primetime shows anchored by Jake Tapper at 7pm, Anderson Cooper at 8 and 10pm and Piers Morgan at 9. MSNBC simulcast KFOR in Oklahoma City and KSDK in St. Louis for much of the night with NBC meteorolgist Dylan Dyer in studio with Chris Hayes at 8, Rachel Maddow at 9 and Milissa Rehberger at 10.

The network evening newscasts all updated their shows for the West Coast. ABC included an update on “20/20″ at 10pmET and coverage from meteorologist Ginger Zee who is also a storm chaser.


President Obama To Speak at 10 AM, As More Correspondents Descend On Oklahoma

President Obama is scheduled to comment on the disaster in Oklahoma at 10 AM and it is likely that all of the broadcast networks will break into regular programming to cover it.  ”CBS This Morning” went into the 9 AM hour to cover the fallout. We hear that “CTM” will stay live until 12 PM on the east coast covering the damage, and 10 AM pacific.

Update: “Our prayers are with the people of Oklahoma today,” Obama said. “Oklahoma needs to get everything that it needs right away.”

“If there is hope to hold onto, not just in Oklahoma but around the country, it is the knowledge that the good people there in Oklahoma are more prepared than most, and what they can be certain about is that Americans around the country will be right there with them,” he added.

Meanwhile, the news channels are sending their A-teams to Oklahoma to cover the fallout from the tornado.

As we noted yesterday, NBC has Brian Williams,  Lester HoltAnn CurryHarry SmithKate SnowAnne Thompson and Dr. Nancy Snyderman in Oklahoma, as well as the Weather Channel team of Jim CantoreMike Bettes, and Mike Seidel.

ABC News has Sam ChampionGinger ZeeDavid Muir and Alex Perez in Oklahoma. Byron Pitts, Mike Boettcher, and Cecilia Vega are also either in Moore or en route.

CBS has Norah O’Donnell anchoring from Moore, and Anna Werner on the ground, and Scott Pelley will anchor the “CBS Evening News” there this evening.
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Mike Bettes Returns to Joplin For Hospital Groundbreaking

Last May, the city of Joplin, Missouri was ravaged by a tornado. Most viewers probably remember the destruction done to St. Johns Regional Medical Center, with nearly every window blown out. Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes had been chasing the storm that day, and was one of the first to arrive outside the hospital, delivering an emotional live report.

The hospital — now known as Mercy Joplin Hospital — is being rebuilt. And the hospital has asked Bettes to take part in the groundbreaking later today.

While he is in Joplin, Bettes will appear on “Wake Up with Al” and “Your Weather Today,” reporting on the rebuilding process.

Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes Returns to Joplin on One Month Anniversary

It is the one month anniversary of the disaster in Joplin, Missouri, one of the first correspondents on the scene is returning to the city. The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes–who filed some of the most compelling footage from Joplin–will be filing reports for the network all day today.

Video of one of Bettes’ original reports is below.

Weather Channel’s Chase Team Finds Death, Devastation in Joplin, MO

The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes and his crew have been dubbed “The Chase Team.” This Spring they have been criss-crossing tornado alley in search of nights like tonight. But what they found on arrival, even shook them.

A monster tornado — perhaps a half mile wide — slammed Joplin, MO at 6pm leaving destruction in its wake; countless homes, a high school, a firehouse; blowing out the windows and tearing back the roof of the the 10-story St. John’s Medical Center, leaving it incapable of treating the wounded or able to continue care for those already admitted.

Bettes was one of the first on the scene after the tornado had passed and has been doing multiple live reports tonight. When he’s not on the air, the Chase Team is sending a livestream of Bettes’ live location on Bettes reported that when he arrived firefighters were climbing out of the debris of their firehouse which had been destroyed. He was overcome with emotion during one report.

CNN produced a live hour of news at 9pmET, pre-empting a reair of “Piers Morgan Tonight” and continued to cover the aftermath at 10pm, but CNN is relying limited video, photo submissions and phone interviews. Fox News has reported the news in cut-ins. And because The Weather Channel is part-owned by NBCU, MSNBC is using Bettes’ video in its Sunday night news cut-ins. Unedited Weather Channel video in the immediate aftermath, after the jump…
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