Meteorologist on the run during weather crises

Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Ill. (AP) - Kelly Hooper's living involves many stormy travels, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

The 46-year-old Kentuckian is among more than 70 "incident meteorologists" with the National Weather Service across the country.

Each constantly is on call to hustle anywhere disaster hits or threatens.

Their work is crucial to safeguarding recovery crews by closely tracking the approach of weather threats that can compound damage from earlier storms or disasters.

As Hooper puts it, "we try to keep an incident from happening within an incident."

That was the case in February in Harrisburg, where Hooper monitored strong winds that buffeted the southern Illinois city two days after a tornado killed seven people there. Hooper pressed the area's storm sirens into action, warning anyone in the debris field to find shelter.

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