Saturday, March 3, 2012

Storms Created a Community

Yesterday there was a huge wave of severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes all up and down the eastern US; a total of 269 tornado warnings were issued. 31 people were killed, most of the deaths occurring in Indiana and Kentucky.

In Tennessee, 33 people were injured, but no deaths were reported. However, around 19,000 customers were (and many still are) without electricity during the storm front - meaning that they were unable to get updates on the weather situation from the television or radio. But these are no longer the only way to get news. On Twitter, people were using the hashtag #knoxstorm to share information about warnings, power outages, and what they could see of the weather. Mark Schaefer tweeted,

People sent photos and shared comments about what they were doing to prepare, creating a community in the face of the storm. People who were alone were able to share their experiences and hear back from others in the same situation. Without power, people may not have been able to use the traditional means of getting news and information, but Twitter allowed them to have something better - not just to hear the news, but to share and get a response back themselves.

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