Football is king in Texas, but it should never be that important to inform people of danger that is near.
KXAS in Dallas-Fort Worth delayed breaking into Sunday’s Cowboys’ divisional game against the Philadelphia Eagles for six whole minutes to issue a tornado warning, which certainly upset viewers who accused the local NBC station of putting football ahead of public safety.
On Monday, the station apologized for the horrendous mistake, admitting that they didn’t “want to interrupt” the Cowboys’ game.
We don't want to interrupt the Cowboys game on NBC 5, but @RickMitchellWX wants to keep you ahead of the storm. Watch his live update on the tornado watch by clicking here ➡️ https://t.co/Zm9xPx6SIt #NBCDFWWeather pic.twitter.com/pWy5i0nxLf
— NBCDFW Weather (@NBCDFWWeather) October 21, 2019
“When it comes to dealing with severe weather, we know that seconds matter,” the station said in a statement. “We should have broken into football programming sooner. We apologize and want you to know that we’re doing everything in our power to make sure this does not happen again.”
The EF3 tornado – with top winds of 140 mph, according to the National Weather Service – caused heavy damage in Dallas and killed at least four people in Arkansas and Oklahoma. It also knocked out power to 55,000 households and sending trees into homes, but nobody in the Dallas area weas killed, Mayor Eric Johnson said.
A significant tornado hit @CityOfDallas last night. But we were incredibly fortunate, considering the path of the storm, that we have no reported fatalities or serious injuries at this time. pic.twitter.com/siH3nSejPy
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@DallasMayor) October 21, 2019
Folks were still upset:
It's okay. Yes, the game is important, but saving lives and property is more important. Don't be afraid to cut in.
— Craig Ceecee (@CC_StormWatch) October 21, 2019
The weather is more important…..
— GingerontheRight (@gingernerd77) October 21, 2019
Weather emergencies literally take precedent over football. They’ll survive
— ⛸⛸💕 (@ice_a_i_ngel) October 21, 2019
Not everyone has access to social media, despite what you might think. We were watching game and not on our socia media. I was shocked @NBCDFWWeather did not cover the weather live on TV. You've got one job.
— Twila Loudder (@TwilaLoudderRN) October 21, 2019
The Cowboys are up by 20. I think people would appreciate a split screen at the minimum. Structural collapses and many injuries…people in the path could use info from you!
— THISISLA (@ThisIsLAinTx) October 21, 2019
This was about an hour before the tornado touched down, right? Your priorities last night were shameful.
— Chris Derrett (@chrisderrett) October 21, 2019
Oof this was not a smart move, dudes. Wall to wall coverage was warranted. You failed viewers big time.
— Chuck Bassethound (@ChuckBasset) October 21, 2019
Dallas went on to beat Philadelphia 37-10 to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East.