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Law Enforcement's role in "storm chasing"?

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  • Law Enforcement's role in "storm chasing"?

    Hey guys,

    Living down in the Houston area, we don't get a ton of tornadoes (maybe 2-3 a year in the metro) however on Monday, we had a tornado on the ground in one of Houston's southern suburbs. It got me thinking....


    On May 20th 2013, I was driving from Newcastle to Moore, Oklahoma, when a large tornado touched down (as you may know) and completely leveled the northern side of Moore (relatives were alright). Before the storm found its way into the Moore city limits, I was driving roughly parallel to the twister as it advanced eastward. The road on which I was driving was lined with local officers and deputies, as well as some OHP for a good majority of the trip into Moore. I saw officers outside their cruisers taking pictures, some standing around in a circle, and I even saw others cut up back roads with full lights and sirens, seemingly headed straight for the tornado. Seeing this brings me to my question:



    Do LEO's have a defined role in storm chasing? Such as tracking the tornado (if the vortex is on the ground). Or are they simply working to clear the path of civilians?


    Just curious, because my early childhood dream was to be a storm chaser after watching the movie 'Twister'. This line of work, although rare, could knock out two birds with one stone in regards to my childhood dreams!

  • #2
    Can't speak for others but personally, stay a respectful distance away, report as necessary, get to cover. Render aid afterwards, go hard on looters

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    • #3
      ^^^ What he said.

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      • #4
        We have "posts" that certain deputies go to when storms threaten . These are high spots on the western border of the county (or into the next county) where they watch the sky for a while.

        They do this just to provide a picket and give warning if they see activity


        Our Sheriff is a trained "storm chaser" and often goes chasing on his own time
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          Our role is to observe, report, and provide assistance as necessary. The adrenalin junkie in me would love to try atorm chasing.
          In God We Trust
          Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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          • #6
            Tape off the impact area of where the storm chasers land?

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            • #7
              You guys do all the fun stuff

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              • #8
                my chasing is watching the news channel.... wait CA doesn't get tornadoes...
                I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by moparfan View Post
                  my chasing is watching the news channel.... wait CA doesn't get tornadoes...
                  Nope, just earthquakes! I'll take a tornado any day!
                  I'm old......that's all.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wyofirebirdbaby View Post
                    Nope, just earthquakes! I'll take a tornado any day!
                    Hell no! I've been through several tornados when I lived in the Midwest and one earth quake. I'll take the earth quake anyday. Tornados are like a lottery of death and give off the most eerie feeling you can't really describe until you've experienced a strong one.

                    EDIT: But then again I feel like this is the same as the Tazer vs OC debate. Both are going to suck pretty bad but some prefer one over the other.
                    Last edited by Miller11x; 05-30-2014, 01:48 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wyofirebirdbaby View Post
                      Nope, just earthquakes! I'll take a tornado any day!
                      Having been in both, it's a heck of a lot easier to GTFO the way of a tornado than an earthquake if you have advanced warning.
                      "Snort-laughter is the best medicine"
                      ----- Mussel Bound


                      Don't forget to laugh today. The more implausible it seems, the more you need to.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Miller11x View Post
                        Hell no! I've been through several tornados when I lived in the Midwest and one earth quake. I'll take the earth quake anyday. Tornados are like a lottery of death and give off the most eerie feeling you can't really describe until you've experienced a strong one.

                        EDIT: But then again I feel like this is the same as the Tazer vs OC debate. Both are going to suck pretty bad but some prefer one over the other.
                        The comparison is priceless!! LMAO, thank you!
                        "Snort-laughter is the best medicine"
                        ----- Mussel Bound


                        Don't forget to laugh today. The more implausible it seems, the more you need to.

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                        • #13
                          I'very been through over a dozen tornadoes, and even a few hurricanes (Ike and Rita) but nothing compares to helplessness you feel in a tornado!!

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                          • #14
                            When I was in Alabama, we chased them. Our mission was not to catch them, but to be right on the heels of it to secure the area as quickly as possible, provide immediate S&R, and prevent the inevitable looting and such. I've lived through more tornadoes than I care to remember, and Miller1x is right. Right before it gets to you, you can feel it. And it does not sound like a freight train. It sounds like a choir from hell.

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                            • #15
                              We all get trained in storm spotting where I am now. If severe weather is expected, we do our job as normal. When it rolls in, we position and we watch for major events (rotation, wall clouds, funnels, etc) and we report in. We have the availability to notify the Sgt's what we are seeing and if it warrants activating the storm sirens.

                              Like ChopShop said though. Do what you can and hit looters hard who want to take advantage of people.

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