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Thread: Storm chaser: Tim Samaras

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    Storm chaser: Tim Samaras

    Colorado storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras, and longtime chase partner Carl Young were killed in the EF-3 tornado that tore through El Reno, Oklahoma Friday.
    Tim and Paul were both born and raised in Lakewood, Colo. but most recently were living in Bennett. Tim is survived by his wife, Kathy.
    Tim Samaras was considered a leader in storm chasing expertise and tornado research and worked with 7NEWS, National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, Boeing, and the federal government.
    Samaras and his team starred in the Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" for three years before the show was canceled in 2012.

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...ngtime-partner


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    I've been interested in severe weather since the bug bit me in 1989. We were evacuating prior to Hurricane Hugo here on the SC coast. Upon returning and seeing the devastation, I began a lifelong process of learning everything I could about the weather and how Mother Nature works. I've watch these guys, Tim and Carl, for years now. I've seen many documentaries, watched Storm Chasers on Discovery and followed Tim on Facebook. Granted, this is just my hobby, but learning about what Tim created and how he advanced the science was just amazing. These weren't guys out on the road trying to get good pictures. Tim was an engineer and developed his own methods and instruments in order to learn more about tornadoes and other severe weather. They were scientists trying their best to contribute to the safety of millions. Their loss is tremendous in the meteorological/storm chaser community. Personally, I've watched them on TV so many times. One gets to a point where you feel you know them, and to me, this feels like I've lost good friends. I'm truly heartbroken. I send my prayers of peace and comfort to their friends and families.
    There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love. ~ Don Juan De Marco

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pryncis View Post
    I've been interested in severe weather since the bug bit me in 1989. We were evacuating prior to Hurricane Hugo here on the SC coast. Upon returning and seeing the devastation, I began a lifelong process of learning everything I could about the weather and how Mother Nature works. I've watch these guys, Tim and Carl, for years now. I've seen many documentaries, watched Storm Chasers on Discovery and followed Tim on Facebook. Granted, this is just my hobby, but learning about what Tim created and how he advanced the science was just amazing. These weren't guys out on the road trying to get good pictures. Tim was an engineer and developed his own methods and instruments in order to learn more about tornadoes and other severe weather. They were scientists trying their best to contribute to the safety of millions. Their loss is tremendous in the meteorological/storm chaser community. Personally, I've watched them on TV so many times. One gets to a point where you feel you know them, and to me, this feels like I've lost good friends. I'm truly heartbroken. I send my prayers of peace and comfort to their friends and families.
    Greetings from Greenville, SC. I totally agree about this loss. My husband and I love to watch the documentaries about storm chasing, and these guys were the best. They will surely be missed.

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    Carl was a friend of mine. I just saw him a few weeks ago. He was just the nicest guy. It's heartbreaking.

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    I was so sad to hear about this. Mike Bettes from the Weather Channel was injured in a separate tornado chasing vehicle. Everyone lived, but they were injured. It shows how these massive storms can just pick up trucks and cars and throw them around likes toys. Such scary stuff.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

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    I wonder if these guys ever had premonitions of dying in a tornado?

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    Storm chasers; seems that they caught up to one.<br><br>Are there any details of the tragedy?<br><br>No doubt the work these guys did have saved who knows how many lives by understanding the mechanics of tornados; this is just sad.
    A faulty hypothesis forming:
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    I hate to see any non criminal die, but jeez, you chase tornadoes. One of the most stupidest things on this earth to do. Now their friends and families are wrecked because of their stupidity.
    "Everybody is born, and everybody dies. Being born wasn't so bad , was it?"
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    It's one of those jobs where people take risks in order to protect others, my prayers are with their families and friends.
    To really know people is to be able to read between the lines on their faces.

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    If I read right, the tornado changed course and came right at them and they couldn't get away?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mammy View Post
    If I read right, the tornado changed course and came right at them and they couldn't get away?
    That's pretty much what happened Mammy. With the exception of a few morons out there, these guys who are "serious" chasers take every precaution they can think of to stay as safe as possible. There really wasn't much these men could've done (short of just staying away altogether) to have escaped. I watch storm chaser feeds online a lot...a lot more the last few days as Oklahoma's been getting hit pretty hard lately. I sit there and say "these guys are nuts", but I know they mainly do it in hopes of being able to find ways of making warning systems faster so people can get under cover a.s.a.p.
    If anyone's interested in checking out some chasers:
    http://www.tornadoalleylive.com/subindex/weather/maps
    or
    http://tvnweather.com/live
    "I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being" --Stand by Me

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    I figured it was something like that. They had to be pretty brave to be in that line of work and I hate it that they were killed. I'm terrified of storms and usually a nervous wreck after the first clap of thunder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mammy View Post
    I figured it was something like that. They had to be pretty brave to be in that line of work and I hate it that they were killed. I'm terrified of storms and usually a nervous wreck after the first clap of thunder.
    I love 'em, but I'm strictly a thunderstorm girl. Tornados freak me out! I was in a hurricane once while vacationing in N. Carolina. I was afraid to go to sleep because I had visions of the windows in the room blowing out.
    "I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being" --Stand by Me

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    My husband and I were at work when a tornado hit there. The first sign of clouding up, we're both freaking out.

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    I love a good thunderstorm.. but when the winds kick up, I do get a little nervous. The weather is changing everywhere, you really never know what will happen anymore. When Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the east coast, Toronto news was giving out severe warnings that it could come our way, I'll admit it, I was frightened by that prospect.
    To really know people is to be able to read between the lines on their faces.

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    Does Canada have many tornados? I've never actually thought about it.

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    We never did in the past. I used to watch the U.S. news & see the destruction when a tornado hit, & I'd think to myself, I'm glad I live in Canada. But the last several years we have been getting them much more frequently. Just the other day there was a funnel cloud spotted close to Ottawa Ontario. My daughter now lives in Barrie Ontario which is located just barely above tornado alley.

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    Rest in peace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MagnusDippytack View Post
    I hate to see any non criminal die, but jeez, you chase tornadoes. One of the most stupidest things on this earth to do. Now their friends and families are wrecked because of their stupidity.
    Most of them don't do it for shits and giggles. They're out there, risking their lives, in order to report the storms to the National Weather Service. If you have a tornado alert, it's probably because of guys like these. I'm thankful for everyone who's brave enough to literally weather the storms, in order to make me and my family safe.

    Rest in Peace, guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keres View Post
    Carl was a friend of mine. I just saw him a few weeks ago. He was just the nicest guy. It's heartbreaking.
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I watched him and Tim both, many times on documentaries and such and of all the chasers they would highlight, never in a million years would I have thought it would have been Carl and Tim to die this way. I've watched so much stuff about tornadoes and severe weather. You begin to see faces become familiar, you learn their passion and you feel it too. You really begin to feel like you know these guys personally because you are able to connect on that level. I cried when I heard the news this morning. I cried for a good long while. I didn't know Carl or Tim or his son, but I still feel like I've lost three very special friends. I'm a total weather geek and to us these guys who chase for the science are much like a regular person's favorite actor or musician. That's the only thing I can relate it to. I hope you can find some peace in this time as well. *hugs*

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenivere2011 View Post
    Most of them don't do it for shits and giggles. They're out there, risking their lives, in order to report the storms to the National Weather Service. If you have a tornado alert, it's probably because of guys like these. I'm thankful for everyone who's brave enough to literally weather the storms, in order to make me and my family safe.

    Rest in Peace, guys.
    Exactly! With the data these guys have collected, warning times have increased from three minutes to almost 15 in most cases. How many people can you name who can round up a house full of kids and a maybe a family pet and get to safety in less than three minutes? None that I know!
    There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love. ~ Don Juan De Marco

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    if somebody is dumb enough to go headlong into an f4 or f5 twister, things like this shouldn't be unexpected. People die in these storms. Its one thing to sit in an easy chair and watch it on the news but if your right there in one whole areas flee for their lives.

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    He knew the risks. Gutsy way to earn a living though. R.I.P.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilmpenny View Post
    He knew the risks. Gutsy way to earn a living though. R.I.P.
    Yes. People like him love what they do and that's why they do it, and we reap the benefits. I mean, we need storm chasers here--because it's so hilly, forested, and urban--we cannot see a tornado coming. They used to slip on us and there were more victims. My grandaddy was in a hardware store in Gainesville, Ga, in the 30s or 40s, when one tore through there and just destroyed the downtown. It was just there. And gone. Before they knew what hit them, really.

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    Thank you, Pryncis.

    Carl was not a storm chaser doing it for the adrenaline rush. He was a scientist doing research on weather patterns to help better predict tornadoes. He and Tim were extraordinarily cautious. They did not take risks. This particular storm did a 180-degree turn and caught everyone off guard.

    People on this board are extremely callous.

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    There were a few bad ones in NE Oklahoma and yesterday we went out looking at the damage as it all occurred about a mile from the house. Catastrophic doesn't seem to cover it. People lost life-long businesses, extremely high end homes. People weren't killed in NE OK, but after 3 nights in a row being prepared for a possible tornado, the 115F heat we've endured the last two summers, I'm seriously ready to move.
    In Loving Memory of Timothy Houdek, October 22, 1969 - January 8, 2013

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    Keres - I watched a nice tribute from Dr. Greg Forbes on the Weather Channel. He explained what these men were doing and how they were not doing it for kicks and giggles. They were true scientists. Dr. Forbes talked about the equipment that these men had and how so much of their work helped in early detection of tornadoes.
    Last edited by Noelle1966; 06-03-2013 at 11:40 AM.
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    Keres, people on this board have a right to their own opinions. If you don't like what someone posts then either scroll on down or put that person on your Ignore List. In saying "people on this board are extremely callous" is hostility, Rule 4. Read FAQ, the link is located at the top of any page


    Noelle1966, please do not quote posts which break the rules. Read FAQ, particularly Rule 4, the link at the top of any page.

    Here's what the managing admin has to say about this.

    Nick
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    I'm probably going to end up posting a forum-wide announcement about this and incorporating it into the rules, but please listen:

    Quoting a comment that you think is totally out of line or offensive only gives legs to that comment. It doesn't matter if you quote it to say, "Shame on you," or whatever. What you are doing is taking the comment and doubling the number of places it is written. Then someone else sees it and quotes it and now you have the offending comment in three times as many places as it was originally. And so on.

    And the more something is repeated, the more it sinks in. So if someone writes, "All Greek men are slimy criminals," and you are a Greek man that takes offense, almost all you are accomplishing by quoting the remark is legitimizing it. And the more ridiculous the original comment, the less helpful it is to quote it.

    If someone says an individual deserved a disease and you quote him, to me, as an administrator, you are lending some level of support to his view because you are repeating it and reinforcing it in the minds of readers that otherwise would have just skipped past it or who had a hard enough time reading it in the first place and would rather not see it dredged up again.

    Do not quote posts that break forum rules.
    Last edited by cindyt; 06-03-2013 at 10:42 AM.

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    I never thought we had many till I read this in Wikipedia.. more then I thought ! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...nado_outbreaks
    To really know people is to be able to read between the lines on their faces.

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    Mansfield - I once saw that Canada is second only the the USA for tornadoes. Not sure if that is true or not.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

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    we had one blow through our drive-in theatre in the 1990s while it was showing the movie "Twister"
    tore through the screen.
    not even kidding.

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    Oh Finnegan. I hope that you wrote to the producers of Twister. That would be a good bit of trivia for them.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelle1966 View Post
    Oh Finnegan. I hope that you wrote to the producers of Twister. That would be a good bit of trivia for them.
    haha I never thought about it
    I wonder if anyone ever did tell them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
    we had one blow through our drive-in theatre in the 1990s while it was showing the movie "Twister"
    tore through the screen.
    not even kidding.
    That's crazy! I'm watching that movie right now, it's paused on the scene where the tornado rips through the drive in screen while showing "The Shining." There are a few goofs in the movie in that scene I like to look for.
    There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love. ~ Don Juan De Marco

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    I love the Nostalgia Critic and his rant on Twister.

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    Right now Hubby is watching one of the "Storm Chaser" reruns on youtube. We used to watch this program for a few years. These guys were scientists observing the tornado patterns to keep the general public safe. I think that one of the most heart-wrenching programs was entitled "Dedication" in which they did a dramatic capture (not sure if this is the right term), but after a few days, one of the young guys attempted suicide by hanging himself inside his home. He died 10 days later. He was on the high of his life for a few days, and started down the path to successfully end his life a few days later in 2010. I cried during that episode, never dreaming that suicide would after my life 2 1/2 years later.
    In Loving Memory of Timothy Houdek, October 22, 1969 - January 8, 2013

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    I never would have thought that, it's scary anyway you look at it though.
    To really know people is to be able to read between the lines on their faces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
    Right now Hubby is watching one of the "Storm Chaser" reruns on youtube. We used to watch this program for a few years. These guys were scientists observing the tornado patterns to keep the general public safe. I think that one of the most heart-wrenching programs was entitled "Dedication" in which they did a dramatic capture (not sure if this is the right term), but after a few days, one of the young guys attempted suicide by hanging himself inside his home. He died 10 days later. He was on the high of his life for a few days, and started down the path to successfully end his life a few days later in 2010. I cried during that episode, never dreaming that suicide would after my life 2 1/2 years later.
    His name was Matt Hughes. He was my age, or approximately my age. His death hit me hard too. When they showed that episode later in the season, it was hard to watch. He left behind a wife and two young children if I remember correctly.
    There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love. ~ Don Juan De Marco

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
    we had one blow through our drive-in theatre in the 1990s while it was showing the movie "Twister"
    tore through the screen.
    not even kidding.
    You did not!!! That's so freaky. At least it wasn't playiing "The Shining". That would have been even more freaky!


    I live on the East coast, and Sandy hit us very hard, but I can't even imagine living where there are tornadoes! At least with hurricanes, there'a quite a bit of warning.

    Just a quick question for people in the Tornado Alley area. Do folks there have storm cellars nowadays? I'd imagine it would be a good thing to have.
    "The powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse..."

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    Kat - I'm in Oklahoma and in the part of the US that really could use basements, yet we have NONE. Very few homes have basements because the soil is very shifty. They do market "safe rooms"
    http://www.jimsafe.com/ but they are pretty expensive. If you don't have a basement (which no one does) or an expensive (yet very effective) safe room, you go to the innermost room on the ground floor, such as a closet or a bathroom. If you don't have that, we go to the centermost room in the house away from windows. One year we were very close to getting hit. My daughter was a baby so we took her crib mattress, every pillow, blanket, we could find, wore our bike helmets and huddled in the hallway.

    Within the last week we were very close to more action, and you know it's getting really bad when DH says, "Honey, I've done some measurements and the kitchen table will fit down the hallway. Get as many pillows and blankets as you can as well as the bike helmets and we'll keep the weather on and hope the power doesn't go out." That's what our plan was last week... I think that a basement would be more effective though... but just not possible.
    In Loving Memory of Timothy Houdek, October 22, 1969 - January 8, 2013

    My awesome dad: Harry Houdek, September 8, 1933 - November 20, 2013

    Words can't convey how much I miss you both. RIP with love.




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    Per an article in USA Today, they think this tornado was an EF5 with winds close to 300 mph. The article said that Tim Samaras was out deploying probes in the storm when he was killed. The national weather service is hoping to find some of his equipment out there so they can get more precise measurements of the storm.

    He and his crew were brave men, they contributed a great deal of scientific information to help the experts better understand tornadoes. RIP to their family and friends.

    Link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weathe...d-ef5/2388759/

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    One of the articles I read said it went from a mile wide to 2.6 miles wide in less than 30 seconds. They had no chance. Mike Bettes was extremely lucky...

    If they were able to get their instruments in front of the storm, set them up properly etc. the information obtained, if the probes or whatnot were not destroyed, could contain very valuable information. I wonder if anyone else on the TWISTEX team, or perhaps another researcher could disseminate the data. I hope that the probes survived and hold useful information. I hate to think that nothing good could come from this...
    There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love. ~ Don Juan De Marco

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    It is amazing how far weather forecasting has come. I suppose so many of us think that the Midwest is just like "The Wizard of Oz" and people just get down into the storm shelter. I was watching a bit about the storm shelters on the Weather channel and they did show how it can be difficult to keep them. I honestly don't know what the answer is. I live in hurricane alley and we are seeing more and more laws in regard to building homes. Some newer places are building "huddle rooms" in the center of the house. We also use schools as shelters. I cannot imagine a tornado 2.6 miles wide.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noelle1966 View Post
    It is amazing how far weather forecasting has come. I suppose so many of us think that the Midwest is just like "The Wizard of Oz" and people just get down into the storm shelter. I was watching a bit about the storm shelters on the Weather channel and they did show how it can be difficult to keep them. I honestly don't know what the answer is. I live in hurricane alley and we are seeing more and more laws in regard to building homes. Some newer places are building "huddle rooms" in the center of the house. We also use schools as shelters. I cannot imagine a tornado 2.6 miles wide.
    When Hugo came through Charleston, SC in 1989 one of the schools used as a shelter was flooded. I was talking to my man about how quickly the tornado grew and gave him an example how big it was originally then another example of how big it got, using local landmarks as a reference. He grew up in Lubbock, TX and was still surprised.
    There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love. ~ Don Juan De Marco

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    Imagine the days when they had no way of forecasting any of this except watching nature. I know when we are getting a storm because my head starts to hurt.
    The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

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    This storm jinked to the south when it was suppose to stay on a easterly track. it caught a lot of people of guard. I was hauling ass on back roads heading south and west trying to get to Union City and Hwy 81 to go straight south. there must have been hundreds of pro and semi-pro storm chasers on the road. I'm surprised more didn't get killed.
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    The latest National Geographic magazine (November 2013) has a very good article on Tim and what happened to him (pp 28-63). Great article about tornado's in general with brilliant images, and great graphics which laid out how it happened. That car was flattened, roll cage and all.

    Quote Originally Posted by cleanskull View Post
    This storm jinked to the south when it was suppose to stay on a easterly track. it caught a lot of people of guard. I was hauling ass on back roads heading south and west trying to get to Union City and Hwy 81 to go straight south. there must have been hundreds of pro and semi-pro storm chasers on the road. I'm surprised more didn't get killed.
    The article has a great map of about 12 miles width between South Heaston Road in the West and South Banner in the East, El Reno in the North and Union City in the South. It follows from when the twister touched down near the intersection of South Heaston Road and Jensen Road West, to where it converged with Tim near the intersection of South Radio Road and Reuter Road East. Both Tim's and the tornado's routes are clearly marked with a great timeline as well as photographs taken of the conditions at those particular times. Highway 81 runs right through the middle of it. You must have been shitting yourself Clean.
    Last edited by neilmpenny; 11-13-2013 at 05:23 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilmpenny View Post
    The latest National Geographic magazine (November 2013) has a very good article on Tim and what happened to him (pp 28-63). Great article about tornado's in general with brilliant images, and great graphics which laid out how it happened. That car was flattened, roll cage and all.



    The article has a great map of about 12 miles width between South Heaston Road in the West and South Banner in the East, El Reno in the North and Union City in the South. It follows from when the twister touched down near the intersection of South Heaston Road and Jensen Road West, to where it converged with Tim near the intersection of South Radio Road and Reuter Road East. Both Tim's and the tornado's routes are clearly marked with a great timeline as well as photographs taken of the conditions at those particular times. Highway 81 runs right through the middle of it. You must have been shitting yourself Clean.
    Thanks for posting this! The street names make it personal. Real places not just random streets on a map you see on the news. I still get chills thinking about it.
    There are only four questions of value in life, Don Octavio. What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love. ~ Don Juan De Marco

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Connecticut, You know home of ESPN
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    "I will be buried in a spring loaded casket filled with confetti, and a future archaeologist will have one awesome day at work."

  49. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Connecticut, You know home of ESPN
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    Poor guy never stood a chance.


    "I will be buried in a spring loaded casket filled with confetti, and a future archaeologist will have one awesome day at work."

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Natchez Ms
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    3,981
    I don't even know how to spell the sound I made after seeing that truck.
    I am the king of all things stupid!

    "Nobody goes laundry cart on my wash unless them bitches wanna be going feet first."
    Cloris Leachman.

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