Weather man flees live broadcast as tornado bears down on Wichita

A Witchita, KS weather man was forced to take cover during a live broadcast. (YouTube)

When the weather forecasters start to duck and cover, it's time to listen to their warnings.

A tornado emergency in Wichita, Kansas, on Sunday took on a new sense of immediacy when local broadcasters left the set during live coverage and announced they were taking shelter.

J.D. Rudd, a meteorologist at NBC news affiliate KSN, told viewers repeatedly the situation had become an emergency and they should take shelter. From off-camera, a man identified as the chief meteorologist, Dave Freeman, said the radar showed the tornado headed straight for downtown, where the station is located.

Before long, the broadcasters were taking their own advice. Rudd stepped off camera and Freeman's voice said it was time for them to leave as well.

In the first comment on the video uploaded to KSN, a viewer says she refused to take shelter until she saw the staff at the television station walk off set.

"Once you all took shelter some of us actually realized just how serious this storm was and decided to take shelter!" Anita Pearson wrote.

The storm did not cause serious damage to the television station's building, according to NBC, because it lifted as it arrived downtown. NBC reports that thousands of buildings lost power but no one reported any injuries or fatalities in Kansas.

Related:

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Full coverage: Oklahoma tornado

Another tornado hit the suburb of Moore near Oklahoma City on Monday and killed dozens of people, including children, according to The New York Times' blog, The Lede.

Storm-chasers and news outlets broadcast footage of the powerful storms bearing down on Oklahoma and the Midwest.

David Massey, a Twitter user whose profile says he's from Oklahoma City, captured the devastation in a neighbourhood he said was located two miles from his home.

His short Vine videos show houses leveled and people searching for family members. The extreme weather has created more than two dozen tornadoes, mostly in the area of the US known as Tornado Alley.

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