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Covering severe weather

Green Country got another taste of severe weather Thursday night, as a major storm swept through Inola, spawning at least one confirmed tornado. No major damage. Although there may have been some hurt feelings.

As News on 6 reporter Steve Berg explains, stormy weather is unpopular, for more than one reason.

Welcome to Inola, and what some folks call the hay capital. Thursday night, Karen Smith says it was the hail capital. "Standing outside watching the storms, watching the hail beat my car up." The folks having lunch at the Railway Cafe in Inola say they thought the amount of weather coverage Thursday night was about right. "Because I think everybody needs to know exactly what's going on and how close it is and to be safe."

Not everybody feels that way.

(Beep) "You're screwing up the Survivors show; get off the d---- TV."

(Beep) "Tremendous overkill on the weather reporting."

(Beep) "We live in Oklahoma, we know what the h---'s going on."

KOTV General Manager Regina Moon: "It's not something we would choose to do, which is to disrupt their viewing, I like Thursday night television as much as anybody else." Regina Moon says because TV stations use the public airwaves, they're required by the federal government to keep people informed about life-threatening weather. "Because of that, we're going to exercise a great deal of caution in these severe weather situations. Fortunately we're looking at 3 peak months out of the year, so I guess what I would hope people would do is keep that in perspective and bear with us in those times that we're interfering with their programming."

(Beep) "Yeah, I got a message for yah; I work hard all day long to watch my Survivor program, to watch some idiot talk about the weather in another freakin' town."

News on 6 meteorologist Dick Faurot: "We try not to discriminate between the rural folks and the city folks. We treat everybody the same, if you're in harm's way, we want to let you know about it."

Unfortunately, there's no way to broadcast warnings to just one town. Karen Smith: "I'd rather be safe, because it's just a TV show."

(Beep) "Yeah, I don't know how often you check your messages. I think Jim is doing a wonderful job."

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