Graham Media Group’s NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Detroit provided vital information as severe storms on June 22 threatened the annual Ford Fireworks celebration, which hundreds of thousands of people attend. As the official media partner, WDIV advised event producers to begin an hour early so attendees could avoid severe weather. WDIV aired updates every 15 minutes during evening newscasts and provided continuous weather coverage when tornado warnings were in effect. At least two tornados touched down. Staff worked all night to broadcast and stream updates, warnings and damage reports, reaching 1.3 million people in 24 hours. Social media comments included:
Bette Platt: "Thank you [meteorologist] Ben Bailey, it was a long night, but know that you helped many, many people through that crazy storm."
Camille Seaberry: "Great job tonight. Appreciate being able to stay informed while the internet was down. Turned the TV right to you!"
On June 18 - a few days before the storms – a WDIV event allowed viewers to purchase discounted weather radios that are programmed to provide neighborhood-specific alerts. In six years, WDIV has distributed approximately 40,000 weather radios. "We’re right here every day looking out for our viewers… To us, that is what being local is all about," said Director of Local Programming Laurie Oberman.
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