Modern communication and information now allow any person to have the opportunity of being in the right place when a tornado touches down to create death and destruction. A new breed of tornado paparazzi have emerged who beat police or ambulances to the scene of an oncoming tornado and then zoom down the highway seeking to capture pictures of the tornado’s progress. Unfortunately, as they clog the highways with vehicles and cameras it has become difficult for ambulances or police cars to rapidly proceed to the scene of destruction. According to Harold Brooks, a meteorologist, “because data is available to anybody, you can essentially have live radar data in your vehicle” and thus join in the mad scramble with police and other groups seeking to assist people who have been impacted by a tornado.
There are reports some of these individuals are tour guides who are paid to thrust thrill-seekers into harm’s way while others are after photos that can be sold for $75 to up to $100. Tiffany Crumrine who spends time chasing tornadoes says it is “the thrill of the chase… That’s the excitement.” Of course, it is not exciting to someone needing medical assistance if ambulances are delayed getting to the scene of an accident.
We await a new TV Reality program on “Running With The Tornado.”