News 9's Alex Cameron Reflects On Coverage Of May 3 Tornado
OKLAHOMA CITY - May 3, 1999 was the first time the National Weather Service ever issued a tornado emergency.
News 9 anchor Alex Cameron spent months covering the tornado's aftermath, and 20-year later, he said it's a storm he'll never forget.
Through the devastation came many stories of survival and perseverance. For Cameron, what he'll never forget is what happened at the station following the storm.
"I've seen damage from a lot of tornadoes but I've never seen anything like I saw in the aftermath of May 3." he said.
Cameron and photographer Greg Blackwood were assigned to cover the storm that Monday. Instinct immediately sat in.
"As a news person you felt this tremendous responsibility to get out there and do your job. Because you felt like something important and maybe life changing was happening. It was important to document it," Cameron said.
Destruction was seen for miles. Foundations of homes were wiped completely clean and vegetation was pulled right from the ground.
"I personally saw, that sticks with me the most, is seeing blades of grass impaled on a telephone pole. What kind of wind do you have to have for that to happen? I remember seeing those things and just being dumbfounded." he said.
Unforgettable video filled airwaves for months.
Perhaps the most memorable, was the community response at Channel 9. People were donating items for those in need.
"It snaked all the way down Kelley to Wilshire and around the corner. Where did these people come from? People talk about the Oklahoma standard. That was it," he said.