As tornadoes swept through the Oklahoma City area on Friday evening, storm chasers in cars tracked their movements, relaying updates and video to a number of news outlets.
But getting close to violent storms is inherently risky, and the storm chasers with The Weather Channel Tornado Hunt Team had a very close call. According to The Weather Channel's website:
Meteorologist Mike Bettes was chasing the monster rain-wrapped tornado near El Reno, Okla. when he says the storm picked up the heavy chase SUV and threw it an estimated 200 yards.
The team all had their seat belts on and survived with minor injuries.
Seth Decker, a storm chaser with TVN Weather took a photo that shows how far off the road the Tornado Hunt vehicle was thrown:
TWC vehicle in field, far center. twitter.com/sethdeckard/st…
— Seth Deckard (@sethdeckard) May 31, 2013
Storm chaser Sean Schofer also tweeted a photo of the wrecked SUV:
Sean Schofer (@SeanSchoferTVN) June 1, 2013
As HuffPost's Timothy Stenovec and Molly O'Toole reported after the Moore, Okla. tornado, extreme weather can lead both professional and amateur storm chasers to take risks. National Weather Service's Mark Fox told them at the time, "The guys on TV make it look really easy, and in reality, it's not. It takes a lot of training, it takes a lot of experience, and not a whole lot of people really put that time in, and they tend to go after the storms. It gets some people in trouble sometimes."
BEFORE YOU GO
06/01/2013 12:13 AM EDT
AP: 5 Killed, According To Medical Examiner's Office
BREAKING: Oklahoma medical examiner's office says five are killed in tornado outbreak in Oklahoma City suburbs. -MM— The Associated Press (@AP) 3 years ago
05/31/2013 11:56 PM EDT
Missouri Gov. Nixon Declares State Of Emergency
According to the Office of Missouri Governor's website:
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon tonight declared a state of emergency in Missouri as a widespread severe weather system continued to move across the state, bringing heavy rain, hail, straight-line winds, flooding and radar-indicated tornadoes. This severe weather follows several days of heavy rain throughout much of the state, leading to flooding along many streams and rivers. The severe weather threat continues tonight in parts of Missouri, and is likely to continue tomorrow for much of the state.
"Much of Missouri is experiencing dangerous severe weather tonight, on the heels of several days of heavy rain," Gov. Nixon said. "I urge Missourians to closely monitor weather conditions, so they can take shelter or move to higher ground if needed. The risk of severe weather remains with us well into tomorrow. The state of Missouri will continue to work closely with local officials to help protect lives and property from these storms."
05/31/2013 11:51 PM EDT
Hospitals Treating Critically Injured Patients
The AP reports:
Oklahoma City area hospitals are reporting critically injured patients after a deadly tornado that killed at least two people struck the metro area.
Integris Health System spokeswoman Brooke Cayot says three of the system's hospitals received close to 50 patients and that five are in critical condition and one of those critically injured is a child.
Mercy spokeswoman Rachel Wright says the hospital took in four patients -- all in stable condition.
Two of those critically injured were in vehicles that were on Interstate 40 west of Oklahoma City when they were caught in the tornado.
05/31/2013 11:50 PM EDT
Eyewitness Accounts Of The Storm
Click here to view what the night was like for local residents, based on 50 tweets in the OKC metro area from 7:52 p.m. to 9:43 p.m. local time.
05/31/2013 11:40 PM EDT
National Weather Service Releases Initial Tornado Estimates
#Breaking: National Weather Service says initial estimates five tornadoes touched down in the Oklahoma City area, number will likely change.— ABC News (@ABC) 4 years ago
05/31/2013 11:26 PM EDT
Gov. Mary Fallin: "It's Going To Be OK"
During a phone call with Oklahoma's KFOR, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) was asked what message she would like to give to Oklahomans who may be feeling a bit fearful, given the repeated threat of tornadoes in recent days.
"It has been a hard couple of weeks," Fallin said, "but tell them it's going to be ok."
"We are resilient," Fallin continued. "We will go through and come through it on the other side. Just hang on, and tomorrow is a better day."
05/31/2013 11:23 PM EDT
Flooding In Oklahoma City Neighborhood
Flood waters cover a yard in SW Oklahoma City. #okcfox http://t.co/Nxw70KyNGl— KOKH FOX 25 (@OKCFOX) 4 years ago
05/31/2013 11:15 PM EDT
Governor Fallin: New Storms 'Not Helpful' To Moore Recovery
Gov. Mary Fallin told Oklahoma's KOKH Friday night that she was aware of news reports that the evening's violent storms had caused fatalities, including reports that a woman and her baby had been killed on I-40, but she said she could not confirm any fatalities at this time.
"I can't confirm any fatalities other than what I've also heard on the news," she said, noting that she had not yet been in touch with the medical examiner for an official report.
Fallin also said that Friday's storms will not help the ongoing recovery efforts in Moore, which was hit by an EF5 tornado on May 20.
"Well, it's not helpful. They were just beginning to clean up the debris," Fallin said. "Hopefully they were able to get out the things they needed to get out, but this rain will not help with debris removal."
05/31/2013 11:13 PM EDT
PHOTO: Man Stands On Roof Of Car In Flooded Street
A man stands on the roof of his car near s. may and sw 25 th. photo by Sarah Phipps/Oklahoman. http://t.co/jcs6qA9WAI— Oklahoman Photo Dept (@NewsOKPhoto) 4 years ago