Last week I posted "To my surprise the crazy caller made my day normal" because it had been a nice, easy transition for me back on the news desk after being on medical leave.  Boy, did I speak way too soon, and may have even jinxed the metro area with that post because around 10:20 p.m. a major storm ripped through the metro area.  CBS4 News stayed live on the air until after midnight covering the storm.  This meant I stayed and with a very minimal crew, we covered the second costliest storm in Colorado’s history.


The first indication the area was in for a storm was when we lost a live shot due to lighting around 9:50 p.m.  But, we’ve had lots of storms, some amazing light shows lately, so there was still no warning of how big the storm was going to be.  Around 10:20 p.m. I heard a call on the Lakewood police scanner dispatching crews to a report of power lines down in a tree.  Next I saw a Tweet from someone saying the power had just went off in his home.


As I’m thinking, “well he must be using his cell phone or getting some sort of wireless signal, to still be on Twitter,” the scanners, phone lines and Twitter go crazy with the storm.  Even though CBS4 News was in rolling live coverage to keep the public up-to-date on the storm, I could tell that thousands of people who would be most effected by the storm were without power.  Without power they were not able to watch the TV.


Yet, people were still on Twitter, even without power.  I did all I could to keep the information flowing on both accounts, @cbs4denver and @MistyMontano.  Doing this was just natural for me.  I was able to type away while shout out updates to the newsroom and even talk on the phone to direct photographers out covering the storm.


If there was any question as to how any media outlet could use social media, this should be the first thought that comes to mind: public safety. 


The storm continued to move and I continued to Tweet.  I saw that some areas hadn’t lost power, but had lost satellite, therefore; they were also unable to watch the live news.


As our live coverage ended, the tornado sirens were sounded once again in Wheat Ridge.  I continued to answer Tweets and make calls to keep information flowing. 

By using Twitter I was able to answer, "We're still in our basements in Wheat Ridge...woke 98 year old gramma up and brought across street to be here...any news?”


After all, isn’t the purpose of a news station to keep the information flowing?


Brian England wrote in his blog Mighty Mighty


“On Twitter was @MistyMontano, working the desk for as well as @zsazsa, tweeting away, letting me know where the storm was, how serious it was going to be, etc.  After the storm, after some back and forth over said tornado concerns with @mistymontano and things had calmed down…@denverpost finally tweets in with the message “strong, fast thunderstorm hits metro area.”  This is after the storm had passed, after #Denver was a trending topic on Twitter, after I had learned everything I needed to know to keep my family safe (as well as geek out a little bit over the power of mother nature).  After the story was over.”