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'Storm chasers' capture amazing footage of 175 miles per hour tornado

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 29th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Using their specially made "tornado intercept vehicle," professional storm chasers were able to capture some amazing footage in Kansas this week. Touching down in Smith County, the footage cost the photographers some equipment as wild winds tore equipment off the roof of their vehicle. But the footage of 175 miles per hour winds has been dubbed quite remarkable.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Storm chasers Brandon Ivey and Sean Casey captured video from inside a strong wedge tornado around earlier this week.

Ivey and Casey, who have appeared frequently on the Discovery Channel series "Storm Chasers," shot video in eastern Smith County before the tornado ripped instruments off the top of the vehicle.

Both said one of vehicle's doors and the top hatch were blown open by the storm but the vehicle stayed on the ground. Winds whipped the vehicle ferociously, but the van's many special features kept it grounded.

The vehicle, dubbed the "TIV2" is a modified Dodge Ram 3500 platform, with a six wheel drive capability. Four hydraulic drop down skirts block wind and debris from getting underneath the vehicle and flipping it over. The vehicle also has a self-leveling suspension system and weighs more than 14,000 pounds. The vehicle is capable of speeds of 100 miles per hour.

Two homes were destroyed northwest of Smith Center, but no injuries were reported. The most serious tornado damage was reported in and around the town of Marysville, where a tornado touched down late that evening, Bill Schwindamann, Marshall County emergency management director said.

A John Deere dealership and a lumber yard and truss company just west of Marysville were completely destroyed and 20 to 25 homes were damaged, including some that were flattened, he said.

Some livestock were reported missing and power lines were down the following morning around town, located about 150 miles northwest of Kansas City near the Nebraska border.

Still another tornado in Jewell County caused significant damage to one home near Esbon but no injuries, said meteorologist Ryan Pfannkuch in the National Weather Service office in Hastings, Nebraska.

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