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Some Chattanooga area residents say they’re alive today thanks to TV meteorologists

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Photo by Tim Barber / Times Free Press Photo by Tim Barber / Times Free Press

CHATTANOOGA, TN. (Times Free Press) -- Before people in the Tennessee Valley told stories of shingles rattling and roofs torn clean in half and children shivering in bathtubs for cover, before the long day of April 27, 2011, Paul Barys didn't feel too appreciated.

Twenty-five years ago, when he came to Chattanooga to be a weatherman for WRCB Channel 3, people liked to tell him to shut up about tornadoes.

The mountains always protected the valley, people told him. Memphis would often get hit, so would Nashville and Huntsville, Ala. But Chattanooga would go many years without a single touchdown, he said.

He'll never forget when, in 1981, before stations could run information crawls on the bottom of the TV screen, he broke into a prime-time show about Elvis eight times with warnings. A woman called him, fuming.

Read more on the story from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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