Monday, September 29, 2008

Mountain Lake Dries Up

Several months ago, I blogged about Mountain Lake in Giles County. Perhaps you remember the slide show I placed on this blog showing the last little bit of water in the lake. Our interest in the resort was sparked even more the weekend before last when the newsroom phone rang and a viewer told us skeletal remains were found on the dried out lake bed. The following day, NEWS7 photojournalists traveled up Route 700 just outside of Newport to report on the story. They brought back unbelievable video of the lake bed. I was shocked, and saddened, by what I saw. As a Giles County native, and former Mountain Lake Hotel employee, it's hard to imagine the lake completely gone. My dad and I drove up last week to see it for ourselves. I couldn't believe my eyes. Completely gone!

Today, the weather department received an email from a viewer. Her name was Brenda from Blacksburg. She copied a link to us from photographer Richard Cobb. Mr. Cobb has done an *amazing* job matching up "bank full" photos of Mountain Lake to the now empty basin. These pictures really help you grasp the magnitude of the situation. Just click on the link below and make sure javascript is enabled on your computer. Simply drag your mouse on and off of the pictures to see the before/after shots. Thanks again Brenda for passing this along. And special thanks to Richard Cobb.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Take a hike, Ike!

The upper Texas coast is bracing for Hurricane Ike. He should come ashore late Friday night/early Saturday near Galveston. Ike will present major storm surge issues, and flooding rains of at least 5-10" in coastal regions of Texas and southwest Louisiana. Galveston is home of the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history. On September 18, 1900, the "Great Galveston Hurricane" hit. It was a category 4 storm. Between 8,000 and 12,000 people died - mostly because of storm surge. You can bet Texans are watching Ike closely. The picture above shows Ike making landfall earlier this week in Cuba. The Cuban Meteorological Institute reported waves five storeys high. This picture proves it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I've Got "Class" (Not really)

I think one of the most rewarding aspects of my job is going to local schools and talking to youngsters about weather and science. They always seem to enjoy seeing the "weatherman" and I always enjoy their questions, comments and eagerness to learn!

Last year I decided to take some notes on my visits. I came up with a lot of numbers! Check this out: I visited 27 schools, talked to 1,968 students, and traveled 2,886 miles around our viewing area. The largest group I talked to was 290 students at Woodlawn School in Carroll County. The farthest trip was 228 miles to Eureka Elementary School in Charlotte County.

I enjoyed all the journeys last year and look forward to visiting many of the same schools this year. The first this year: Next Thursday when I go to Woolwine Elementary in Patrick County! Have a great school year everyone!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Someone has too much time!

Johnny Tsai has too much time on his hands. Johnny is one of many creative folks here at the station who makes the graphics you see on WDBJ everyday. Monday night was obviously a slow night for him. On "News 7 At Ten" this graphic popped up with the nightly trivia question. The question was about Batman and Star Trek. Here you can see anchor Keith Humphry starting as Captain Kirk, and me as Batman. Look at my six pack abs!