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National Association of Broadcasters

Broadcasters Raise Money for Tornado Relief

Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery
Posted on 5/6/2019

On Sunday March 3rd, a series of several violent tornadoes impacted east Alabama and southwest Georgia. The storm claimed 23 lives in Lee County, Alabama and left a widespread trail of damage throughout Georgia. The next morning, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency in Grady, Harris, and Talbot counties.

Georgia broadcasters moved swiftly into action, fulfilling their roles as “first informers.” Chief Meteorologist David Kincaid of Gray Television’s ABC affiliate WTVM Columbus began warning viewers of the dangers of these storms on air Thursday.

After the storm had passed, news stations in Georgia and Alabama began working together to aid the victims of Sunday’s tragedy. Nexstar’s CBS affiliate WRBL Columbus partnered with Columbus Radio group, PMB Broadcasting for a day-long tornado relief campaign. They set up an online donation portal through the American Red Cross and two donation drop off locations. Together they raised $64,055 to help support the lives impacted by Sunday’s tornadoes.

WTVM also held a telethon on Wednesday with Gray Television and helped raise $327,000.

The tornadoes destroyed more than 1,000 homes and hundreds of people are currently homeless or displaced.

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