(CBS) — A south suburban man whose hobby is chasing storms was in Moore, Okla., on Monday when a massive tornado devastated the town, killing at least 24 people.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Danny Neal, of Evergreen Park, learned the Great Plains were ripe for tornadoes last week, and hit the road Friday night. He followed a storm system south from Kansas on Saturday, and by Monday he was heading into Moore, about a mile away when the tornado hit.
“When we saw how big it was, and listened to the roar, it was probably one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever heard, because I knew exactly where it was heading,” he said. “As it passed us, and we lost sight of it, because the rain wrapped around it, it was like the most sickening, deafening roar you could ever imagine going into the city, and we just knew something bad was happening.”
Neal said the Oklahoma twister was probably the strongest and deadliest tornado he’s ever seen. He’s been chasing and documenting storms for more than 15 years, and has witnessed more than 100 tornadoes.
Neal said the thrill of witnessing nature up close is overshadowed by a sickening feeling knowing what he’s watching is taking lives.
“I love being out in nature, and watching tornadoes form in open fields, but … every storm chaser knows that when you see a tornado, there’s a possibility it’s going to affect someone’s life, so you’ve always got to keep that in the back of your mind,” he said. “Anytime they harm or kill anyone, you just can’t feel good about it.”