One year ago today, Reed Timmer, Joel Taylor and I were out shooting material for our next chasing documentary. We encountered one of the most intense tornadoes ever captured on film, closing to within 100 yards. This would soon be known as the famous Ellis County, OK tornado that was featured across Youtube and practically every news network. After that hair-raising experience, we called it a day and started driving to Kansas.
As the evening turned into night, we watched an intense storm on radar as it approached Greensburg. Not long after, we received phone calls from fellow chasers who were chasing that storm and had witnessed firsthand the utter devastation.
A storm chaser is always ready to enjoy the experience of seeing a tornado, but he or she can never anticipate the shock, sadness, and helplessness that comes with observing destruction. That one powerful tornado devastated a town and humbled a whole nation.
I know that the Greensburg event has strengthened the resolve of virutally every chaser on the road. As storm chasers, filmmakers, and weather enthusiasts we have an important mission to spread awareness and continue collecting empirical data to aid in research. As we continue this unending, passionate pursuit of nature’s mysteries, let us always remember May 4th, and the people whose lives were changed forever.