And just like that people scattered, trying to get the information on the air as quickly as possible. We serve many functions as a television news organization, but none more important, perhaps, than serving the public safety.
The first thing we did was send out breaking news alerts on 7online, Facebook and Twitter, and we put up what's called a "crawl" - those words that scroll across the bottom of your television screen. Then when contacted our closed captioning company and alerted them that Lee was about to go on air.
And soon he was, talking about the warning and tracking what time the storm was passing which town.
Lee said the tornado warning would pass right over Bridgeport, and he was right. Tonight at 11, we're in that city, surveying the damage from what officials believe was a tornado. These things aren't confirmed till the day after at the earliest. But we can get a pretty good idea if it might have been a tornado by the trail of damage that was left. And there's now a state of emergency in that city.
There are also thunderstorms moving into the area, so Lee will be tracking those as well tonight at 11. And there's damage in Queens and Long Island, as well as other parts of our area.
Also at 11, it's a disturbing number - at least 350 kids under the age of 5 drown in backyard pools every year. Tonight we're looking at one of those cases, again. The tragic deaths last night of a 3-year-old girl and her caregiver on Long Island have many people asking questions about pool safety.
How could a nanny who doesn't know how to swim, take a child into the pool? Yes, it was in the shallow end, but the drop-off into the deep end can be slippery, especially in pools with vinyl linings. And that's what happened - the nanny slipped, and she and the child drowned.
Just heartbreakingly sad.
We'll have any developments in the tragedy, at 11. We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.
PS: I'll be off tomorrow, so this column will resume on Monday.