Many of you may not know that the storm chase community lost some titans this week. Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras and Carl Young were all killed in the El Reno tornado on Friday.
I remember coming home to watch one of my favourite team of chasers out in Oklahoma. All was going well until, suddenly, everything went wrong. The tornado did something that no one was expecting. Faster than anyone could have imagined, the tornado appeared to grow. It became the largest tornado in recorded history in 30 seconds. I watched video after video after video of storm chasers doing everything they could to survive this very unexpected danger. I will post those videos below. A good reminder that, though storm chasing seems like it’s all adrenalin and excitement, there’s a very real danger inherent in what these storms can produce.
I, sadly, never got to meet any of these men but I wish I had. I watched them chase on the ‘Storm Chasers’ tv series (actually finished watching one with the Twistex team just last night) and I always thought that Tim and Carl seemed like very genuine, very kind men. I didn’t get to see much of Paul, but if he was anything like his father, I’m sure that he was a good man too.
Some close friends of Tim have been posting some wonderful tributes to him and so I will link them here since I’m sure that nothing I could say would come close to doing this team justice.
I know that the world is a darker place with these men gone and the storm chase community is in mourning for these pioneers. I can’t imagine how many people have been saved by the research that these men did. The drive to help others survive is what had them in El Reno on Friday. I have many friends in the storm chase world who have been rocked by this and to all of you I offer my condolences and my prayers. It’s a tragedy. Plain and simple. My prayers go out to their families and their friends. This may sound corny but I know it’s true… though they are gone, I know they will never be forgotten.
RIP Tim, Paul and Carl
Here’s some video of the El Reno tornado and a few chasers who found themselves too close for comfort.