CNN & The F2 Tornado

By Chris Ariens 

CNN Atlanta staffers are finding themselves in the middle of this weekend’s major news story.

The F2 tornado that ripped through downtown Atlanta last night and the subsequent storms today, are keeping CNN anchors and producers on the move this afternoon. A TVNewser reader sent along a note about the storm-driven programming changes: “During the noon hour, CNN National Newsroom will be locating into the CNNi newsroom as this new storm front moves through downtown Atlanta. All phones will be forwarded and we will be temporarily on tape.” This also meant CNNi viewers watched CNN domestic coverage for a time this afternoon. As another emailer wrote to us, “ticker says it’s due to the damages at the CNN Center due to the tornado.”

After last night’s tornado, CNN was taking no chances today. The blog Newscast Studio added, “Today CNN was thrown another curve ball…CNN’s Frederica Whitfield uses the CNN International set to bring the news to the viewers.”

TVDecoder’s Brian Stelter reports that no CNN staff members were hurt either last night or today. Stelter writes, “Asieh Namdar, an overnight anchor for CNN International, was sitting in one of the network’s newsrooms with colleagues when the storm passed overhead at 9:40 p.m. ‘We all looked at each other in awe, not knowing what to do, sort of debating whether we need to run out.'”

By 3pmET Whitfield was back in the CNN newsroom but the threat of severe weather continued. Including, as of 3:40pmET a new tornado warning for downtown.

The National Weather Service bulletin released in the wake of the F2 tornado that hit downtown Atlanta Friday night.