PELL CITY, Ala. (WIAT)- During a severe weather outbreak and in the days following, our homes are flooded with images of the storms carnage in motion. Most of these are brought to us courtesy of professional storm chasers. “To me, storm spotting and storm chasing to the core, is about public safety and public information,” says Scott McClellan, an Alabama based storm chaser.
Few people were better at that act of public service than Tim Samaras. Known for his work with the Discovery Channel, Samaras traveled the country, tackling Mother Nature’s biggest punches. On Friday, Samaras, his son Paul, and another member of his crew, Carl Young, were killed in the Oklahoma tornados. “[It's] sickening,” says Tommy Self, another Alabama storm chaser. “Tim Samaras was one of the safest engineers, tornado chasers, storm chasers that was ever around. He was so safe.”
Both McClellan and Self hope Samaras’ death will send a message to the general public about thinking twice before hopping in a car and trying to get amateur videos and pictures. Self sums it up, saying, “Mother Nature is a very naughty beast that you’ll never tame.”