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January 4, 2008
Mike TeSelle, now safe and dry


If there's one seminal television image from today's storm, it would have to be the shots of Channel 3 reporter Mike TeSelle getting blown all over the banks of the Yolo Causeway during live morning reports.

At one point, TeSelle was even nearly horizontal as he did his shot. Viewers were so concerned, apparently, that they called and e-mailed the station and asked them to send poor old sopping wet TeSelle home to dry off.

"A couple of people even found my cell phone number and called me to ask whether I at least had a hat," TeSelle says, laughing.

But, you know what? Channel 3 couldn't have gotten TeSelle to leave even if they had tried.

"I love these type of assignments," TeSelle says after his 12-hour shift ended and, yes, he had dried off. "Yeah, I did (volunteer for it.)"

Those familiar with TeSelle, who has been at KCRA for nearly 10 years, can attest to his severe-weather reporting chops. He routinely reports from Blue Canyon during heavy snow periods.

Why does he do it?

"You want to be where the story is," TeSelle says.

But he's not doing it to draw attention to himself, he adds.

"Whenever you've got a story that involves snow or rain and wind, what viewers want to see is how people - or a reporter - deal with it," TeSelle says. "This was tough conditions today. Every time my photographer and I stepped out to do a hit (live report), we'd just get blasted."

Armed with a hand-held anemometer, which gauges wind speed, TeSelle says the highest reading he got this morning was 60.2 miles per hour. So, to illustrate it for viewers, he decided to do a test.

On the air, he leaned into the gust, like a ski jumper, spread his arms wide and let the wind keep him from falling on his face.

"I was thinking, holy moly, this is like covering a hurricane without the hurricane," he recalls.

Finally, at 3 p.m., TeSelle pulled off six layers of clothing, all soaked, and called it a day.

Saturday morning, though, he's back on the air. Only this time, he'll be snug in the studio as the anchor for Channel 3's morning news.

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