Many top news anchors raced to Joplin, Missouri in the wake of the devastating tornado that ripped through the town and caused hundreds of deaths. Brian Williams was one of these, but he had a more personal relationship to the story. Joplin's KOAM was where Williams began his television career.
On Monday night, Williams appeared on the Weather Channel. Speaking to Jim Cantore, Williams talked about what it was like to return to Joplin after so many years during a time of such pain.
"The first thing I did today was go back and check on my old apartment," he said. "...I can't believe this is the city where I lived. I can't believe this is my old home. And no community should have to endure this. This is insult to injury. This is relentless rain."
He said that the tornado in Alabama had been his "new benchmark" for ferocity, but added that "this breaks that to me."
"This didn't used to happen," he said. "This never happened when I lived here...cars looking like they're from Baghdad, covered in shrapnel, hospitals looking like the ones I've seen in Baghdad and Afghanistan--this is out of hand."
Williams said that the damage to the local hospital--where he used to go to events and dinners when he lived in Joplin--was what was sticking in his mind the most.