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Friday, May 4, 2012


5 years ago today (5-4-2007) my life in the world of weather changed forever as well as the lives of so many folks in and around Greensburg KS. I was working for KAKE-TV channel 10 in Wichita, KS as their severe weather reporter and photographer. About 5 days in advance, we knew that severe weather was going to be likely for the weekend of May 4. The day before, I sent out an e-mail to the weather department specifically mentioning strong tornadoes in SW KS in fact, I actually mentioned a fear of loss of life if the CAP could break and included this verbiage in a few e-mails I sent out. Below is one I sent to our production company at the time....

We are working on sending a cameraman. Please keep me informed about where y'all will be deploying to and when. Thanks. Lc

----- Original Message -----
From: lanny dean <>
To: Cumbo, Lawrence
Sent: Thu May 03 05:21:15 2007
Subject: possible tornado outbreak

Lc, there will be a possible tornado outbreak on Friday. If I have
forcasted correctly, I think western Kansas from basically the HWY 283
area and this would include the cities of Greensburg, Pratt, Medicine Lodge, Woodward.
All the conditions are coming together CAPE values 3500j/kg LI -7-9 helecity 250-400M2/S2 infact, latest models are painting very nice shear in that area and there is the possibility for a few tornadoes to be long track and damaging/deadly. If the CAP and break, PEOPLE WILL DIE IF THEY DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE WEATHER TOMORROW! I will be out tomorrow reporting and trying to help get warnings out to the public, probably with Mikey. Randy and Lisa will probably be together will also be out. I really like the area from Pratt to Greesnburg. Have you heard any news or updates yet? We need a camera man like now! I really believe we could see some serious weather tomorrow, let me know as soon as you can.

Thanks and watch the weather could be epic!

Peace, Lanny

As can be seen in my email to our production company, I had an idea that we could see some serious stuff...but I never thought it would be as bad as it was and I never thought I would have to make life and death decisions for other people like I did. I tried to help as much a I could....just a little of the video below.

1 comment:

FPP LLC said...

You've done some awesome work as a chaser, Lanny! I hope your chase tours are going well.
I'm trying to produce a documentary on the 1973 tornado outbreak. Please take a look and share the link:
Thanks and be safe out there!
Ron Fent