Powerful storms swept through the area around Washington, DC, this week, prompting multiple tornado warnings, but for one local TV weatherman reporting on the extreme conditions, it all hit a little too close to home—literally. Per NPR, Doug Kammerer, the head meteorologist for NBC Washington, was on air Thursday around 8:45pm, informing viewers of the stormy weather moving through, when he noticed a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service. "Right over my house," he noted of the twister's path, leading him to frantically pull out his cellphone during the broadcast to phone his kids, who were hunkered down at home alone. (Watch the video.)
"Get downstairs as soon as you can," Kammerer advised his son when he picked up the phone, telling the boy to make sure family members headed into the basement. "Get in the bedroom down there and just kind of wait for 15 minutes—do it now!" After hanging up, Kammerer told viewers he had to make the call, as he figured his kids were likely "online gaming" and not paying attention to whatever was brewing outside.
He then returned to his broadcast, and the tornado warning was nixed by the NWS a few minutes later. "The decision to cut in is not easy for stations to do, and for meteorologists to ask permission to do," NWS meteorologist James Morrow, who was watching Kammerer's report, tells NPR. "It was heartening to see this type of coverage for what could've turned into a very serious situation." In a later tweet, Kammerer assured fans that his kids ended up being OK, though it was a panicked-dad moment for him while he was working. "I was freaking out inside a bit," he confessed. (Read more meteorologist stories.)