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Pictures tell the story -- and WFAA8 makes the most of them

Wednesday's heavy rain and resultant flooding also washed away much of the regularly scheduled morning and early afternoon programming on D-FW's four major TV news providers.

And with a story where immediacy and live visuals are paramount, WFAA8 clearly had the best of it. In fact, if there's an MVP award to be given, it should go to HD Chopper 8 pilot Troy Bush. His pictures and reporting stood out in the early going while Fox4 and NBC5 belatedly "content-shared" identical overhead helicopter pictures from Garland-based Sky Helicopters, Inc.

CBS11, likewise a client of Sky Helicopters, had solid coverage and different overhead pictures. But the station nonetheless fell short of WFAA8 in the key early going.

The badly flooded Willow Creek Apartments in Arlington were the focal point of coverage. WFAA8 excelled in showing viewers live rescues via an elongated fire truck ladder that served as a bridge to safety. At ground level near White Rock Lake, WFAA8 photojournalist Gary Ultee narrated his live pictures of flooding around Northwest Hwy.

Around 12:30 p.m., Arlington Fire and Rescue battalion chief David Stapp hitched a ride with WFAA8's Bush to survey the situation from on high. His department does not have a helicopter, explained WFAA8 reporter Cynthia Izaguirre, who unfortunately also spent an undue amount of time extolling "HD Chopper 8's" role in helping out. One or two back-pats would have sufficed on a day when pilot Bush clearly excelled in the line of duty.

By 1 p.m. Wednesday, NBC5 and WFAA8 had returned to their regularly scheduled soap operas while Fox4 and CBS11 joined them several minutes later in resuming entertainment programming. CW33, part of the cost-cutting LNS (Local News Service) content-sharing arrangement with Fox4 and NBC5, did not bother to interrupt scheduled daytime programming for coverage of the day's flooding.

Here are some of the dramatic live pictures shown on WFAA8:

A rescued dog seems happy to be high and dry. Photos: Ed Bark

The White Rock Lake area was a mess as usual.

Potentially lethal weapon: floating refrigerator hits light pole.

Sobering backdrop: Trusty Jim Douglas reports from the scene.

Not a pretty sight during the height of Wednesday's flooding.

Star players: pilot Troy Bush and HD Chopper 8 touch down.