Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tim Samaras and two other storm chasers killed chasing Oklahoma tornadoes

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OKC Tornado

As we all know, Oklahoma was ravaged by devastating tornadoes not too long ago. One that touched down on May 20 reached over 200mph — categorized as an F5 — and left 24 dead in its wake. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end to the severe weather systems, and more tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma this past Friday, killing 13 more people. Among those 13 people were three storm chasers.

Father-and-son storm chaser duo of Tim Samaras and his son Paul Samaras, joined by fellow chaser Carl Young, were killed in El Reno, an Oklahoma City suburb. Five tornadoes were responsible for the 13 dead, and touched down less than two weeks after the devastating F5, creating flash floods.

Coworkers and friends of Samaras noted that, for someone whose job it is to literally chase after deadly storms, he was extremely careful, and the last storm chaser they expected to be put into real danger. Speaking to The Weather Channel back in 2009, Samaras said that The Wizard of Oz is what spurred his love of tornadoes. Samaras and Young both also appeared on the Discovery Channel show Storm Chasers.


Samaras and his team were killed while on the job for their company, Twistex, which Samaras founded with the goal of better understanding the generation, decay, and maintenance of tornadoes in order to help prepare for them. Perhaps showing that Samaras’ work was viewed as something more serious than a romp through the countryside with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, Twistex received funding from big names such as the National Geographic Society on various occasions.

If the recent devastation of the Oklahoman infrastructure and increasing death toll wasn’t enough to remind you of the extreme danger of tornadoes, just remember that even trained professionals sometimes can’t escape their grasp.

Now read: Birth of the devastating May 20 Oklahoma tornado caught on video

View the original article here


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