Illinois Meteorologist Says Russell Bird Looked for Help on Facebook Before He Died

By Kevin Eck 

Yesterday, we posted a story about Oregon meteorologist Russell Bird who died at the age of 27.

Last night, WQAD meteorologist Eric Sorensen revealed that he’s part of a Facebook group of “weather folk” who swap work stories.

“On April 3rd, a guy by the name of Russell Bird asked for some advice,” wrote Sorensen. He said what Bird said took him back to his own experience as a starting meteorologist.



In his post, Sorensen talked about how tough it is to be far from home, without friends and often without money, an issue so prevalent at local stations, “Small-market TV still employs editors, photographers, reporters, and anchors who make less than cashiers at Walgreen’s and cooks at McDonald’s,” says Sorensen. “And I know for a fact that in Rockford, answering phones pays more of the bills than directing an Emmy-award-winning newscast.”

“Russell’s personal forecast was cloudy, every day. I am sad that even with him reaching out to his colleagues, our words of encouragement weren’t enough. Even though I didn’t know him, I am grieving for him, his friends, and his family. If you ever feel like the weight of the world is going to crush you, reach out. If that’s too hard for you to do, text 741-741. Life will get better.”

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