Storm chasers encounter tornadoes head on

Two local storm chasers had close encounters with tornadoes on 11/05/17

Posted: Nov 7, 2017 5:46 PM
Updated: Nov 8, 2017 12:47 PM

JAY COUNTY, Ind. (WFFT) - For many people, they head indoors when there is the risk for severe weather, but not storm chasers, they hop in their cars to confront the beasts.

Dustin Fisher, a local storm chaser, witnessed the tornado that moved through Delaware, Blackford, Jay, and Mercer counties on Sunday, coming within half a mile of the twister. He said,

“Once I seen it, I immediately stopped, pulled over to the side of the road and I actually tried to block the road just so that way if anyone was actually coming down the road, they wouldn’t continue on their path.”

Nicholas Dunn, John Tinney, and David Buckner were part of a storm chase team that took a direct hit from a spin up twister just northeast of Sheridan. The velocity scan provided by our sister station Fox59 in Indianapolis showed the spinning winds inside the yellow circle at the chase teams location.

Dunn remembers the moment the tornado struck, saying

“All of a sudden, we went from a shelf cloud to an instantaneous rain-wrapped tornado. It was intense, winds were easily 70-80 miles per hour, we were shaking in the vehicle, we just had to ride it out, we had no choice.”

Tinney said, “I can recall making the phone call to my wife, yesterday. It was a bit emotional because we felt lucky to have gotten through that as well as we did...It was a humbling reminder that even if you do everything correctly, use all the training that the National Weather Service is so great at providing, unfortunate things can happen.”

Buckner recounted the evening after, saying

“It took a long time to wind down last night because you just had to stop and think about everything that happened and how fortunate we were and makes you realize how much your loved ones mean to you.”

A few storm chasers do it for the thrill, but many also want to help save lives. Tinney and his team helped the National Weather Service survey damage. Fisher physically got out of his car to stop traffic from driving right into the tornado.

“Any time I see something like this I want to be able to help get information to the National Weather Service and local authorities and try to get people the advanced warning that they need to take shelter and hopefully possibly save some lives,” Fisher said.

So, without that training, it’s a good idea to stay indoors during severe weather.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 726600

Reported Deaths: 13379
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion992781737
Lake53359964
Allen40387675
St. Joseph35449550
Hamilton35440408
Elkhart28376439
Tippecanoe22336217
Vanderburgh22271396
Porter18637306
Johnson17876377
Hendricks17154314
Clark12919191
Madison12574339
Vigo12426245
Monroe11845169
LaPorte11773210
Delaware10615185
Howard9859215
Kosciusko9366117
Hancock8239140
Bartholomew8042155
Warrick7766155
Floyd7645177
Grant7019174
Wayne7018199
Boone6669101
Morgan6547139
Dubois6148117
Marshall6000111
Dearborn578577
Cass5780105
Henry5681102
Noble558283
Jackson500472
Shelby489496
Lawrence4492120
Gibson434391
Harrison434271
Clinton426853
DeKalb425284
Montgomery423388
Whitley394439
Huntington387480
Steuben382957
Miami380266
Knox371890
Jasper362747
Putnam358560
Wabash353178
Adams340654
Ripley338970
Jefferson328881
White312854
Daviess295899
Wells290481
Decatur283592
Fayette278662
Greene276685
Posey270933
LaGrange264770
Scott264753
Clay259245
Randolph239781
Washington239532
Spencer231331
Jennings229248
Starke214452
Fountain211946
Sullivan211042
Owen197056
Fulton194640
Jay191830
Carroll188120
Perry182637
Orange182454
Rush172925
Vermillion168343
Franklin167735
Tipton162345
Parke145916
Blackford134532
Pike133034
Pulaski116045
Newton107034
Brown101541
Crawford99114
Benton98414
Martin87815
Warren81415
Switzerland7848
Union70710
Ohio56211
Unassigned0413

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1080121

Reported Deaths: 19344
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1254981392
Cuyahoga1115202107
Hamilton798171200
Montgomery512711012
Summit46997933
Lucas41982782
Butler38273580
Stark32190907
Lorain24910480
Warren24249297
Mahoning21474586
Lake20586368
Clermont19727238
Delaware18496131
Licking16396210
Fairfield16144199
Trumbull15996466
Medina15233262
Greene15027244
Clark13960297
Wood13056188
Portage12806201
Allen11609231
Richland11308198
Miami10659215
Muskingum8795132
Wayne8777210
Columbiana8756229
Pickaway8547121
Marion8511135
Tuscarawas8467243
Erie7859154
Hancock6900126
Ross6835152
Ashtabula6777169
Geauga6665148
Scioto6398101
Belmont5856167
Union570047
Lawrence5542102
Jefferson5511151
Huron5422119
Darke5344122
Sandusky5330120
Seneca5268121
Athens518258
Washington5148109
Auglaize488484
Mercer480185
Shelby468593
Knox4479110
Madison435461
Putnam4268100
Ashland421289
Fulton420969
Defiance418997
Crawford3965106
Brown392957
Logan381176
Preble379098
Clinton370561
Ottawa366279
Highland353861
Williams338075
Champaign330458
Guernsey315453
Jackson312051
Perry294550
Morrow283839
Fayette281449
Hardin270364
Henry268166
Coshocton264258
Holmes2590101
Van Wert242863
Pike237433
Adams237052
Gallia235048
Wyandot230654
Hocking215162
Carroll191247
Paulding172440
Meigs144639
Noble133337
Monroe131942
Morgan108323
Harrison107537
Vinton82415
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 37°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
51° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 51°
A cold start Saturday with widespread frost expected. We'll see plenty of sunshine for most of the day. Then, clouds build in during the late afternoon and evening.
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