Skip to comments.Death toll in Oklahoma rises to 16; hunt for 6 missing continues
Posted on 06/03/2013 1:09:45 AM PDT by Zakeet
Oklahoma had barely started clearing the rubble from a monstrous tornado two weeks ago when another rash of twisters plowed through this ill-fated swath of Tornado Alley.
At least 16 people are dead across the state after a vicious storm tore through the area Friday evening, Oklahoma City Fire Chief Keith Bryant said Monday morning.
That number may continue to rise.
Authorities will resume their search Monday for six people still missing, including four who sought shelter in storm drains, Bryant said.
A trio of storm chasers who devoted their lives to hunting powerful storms died in the middle of a pursuit.
Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and Carl Young were killed Friday while chasing a tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma, relatives told CNN on Sunday. Their work tracking tornadoes was featured on the former Discovery Channel show "Storm Chasers."
At the intersection where authorities believe the men were killed, crews hauled away a mangled white truck that had been crushed like a tin can. The metal frame of their storm-chasing vehicle was twisted almost beyond recognition.
"They all unfortunately passed away but doing what they loved," Jim Samaras wrote in a statement posted on his brother's Facebook page.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
The mangled white truck that had been crushed like a tin can ... twisted almost beyond recognition.
I think you’re right.
It looks like a definite match to me. Wheels, door handles, even the shape of the crumpled window frames. They didn’t have a chance.
I was stationed at McConnell AFB in Wichita Kansas in early 70’s. My job required going to 18 Titan II missile sites on a regular basis. The weather on the plains can change rapidly. I live in central Alabama. We are no strangers to twisters either. Nature requires a lot of respect. I suspect the chasers got hemmed in by traffic due to the time of day all this hit. They ran out of options. Were they on I40 or I35? I know both of those roads well, at least as they existed up until May 1976 when my USAF service was over.
Some good news on the Moore tornado;
Turns out this never happens. Wind picks up the roof, tears it off, and then the walls fall down.
Unfortunately this was believed to happen by scientists and the worthless advice to open the windows in your house if a tornado was coming was promulgated by the NWS for decades. If anything open windows contribute to the wind getting in and lifting the roof off.
I maintained the primary alert communications equipment. Had no desire to be anywhere near the missile itself. Crew module is where our gear was. Gotta go get ready for work. Later.
I used to watch Storm Chasers religiously.
Tim was very cautious, to the point some of his compadres were pi@@ed at him for staying too far away from the action.
He used to drive an SUV and store his instrument packages in a compartment in the back.
Surprised to see him driving a small car.
I watched part of the live broadcast the other night. The tornado was moving in an easterly direction and when it passed below Reno it suddenly took a left turn to a more n,easterly track.May have been what caught him.
A door that we had never been able to open was left open, the chimney was smashed as was a window in the upstairs. Barn roof one third gone, doors on the milk house gone, 3 of the four trees on that side of the house were badly damaged, one clipped off at the ground and tossed over the house and ended up in the other driveway.
I was watching the weather on TV but it was wireless and had been temporarily out of service. Just when I needed it.
I always assumed these folks tried to chase from behind the tornado so they wouldn’t get caught by a sudden direction change (unless it did a 180 which I assume is rare).
Perhaps whatever experiments or readings they were taking required them to be somewhat ahead of it. Or maybe that’s just how the angle worked out when they intercepted it.
The track I saw on the news showed it south of the road (I40?) heading east, then turned sharply north, then east again such that it was directly tracking over the road. I assume these folks were ahead and north of it on that road before it altered course and then they found them selves directly in front of it and couldn’t out run it for whatever reason.
Really ashame to lose these researchers.
Very sad to lose these people.
Samaras had developed an instrument package, a probe, that he tried to set in the path of tornados. Here's a site that has pics of his vehicle (although he apparently wasn't in this one when he was killed) and probes.
If I lived out on the plains I'd probably do a little chasing. At least for some photographs. Here in NC no way.