The latter link above shows storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski pulling alongside a Joplin police car and pleading with the officers to get the sirens going! Jeff's pleading helped give Joplinites some warning of the imminent storm.
At about this time last Saturday evening, a swarm of tornadoes was occurring southwest of Wichita. Two of those tornadoes became international news when they were photographed behind a "just married" couple southwest of the town of Harper, Kansas.
The screen capture, above, is from a video of the wedding. It was about this time the tornado was destroying the home of Ms. Karen Ashpole. Ms. Ashpole is the mother of the my longtime friend and AccuWeather colleague Michelle Strecker. Karen was not home at the time and was unharmed.
When it was safe, she went to the remains of her home and guess who was there to help? The Dickinson County emergency manager? No. The Kansas Highway Patrol? No. The Harper County sheriff? No to that, as well. It was storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski!
As you know from a posting earlier today (scroll down), tornadoes caused damage in middle Kansas last night. I was struck by this statement, time and time again in the warnings:
STORM CHASERS REPORTED A TORNADO 2 MILES NORTHEAST OF LA CROSSE.
STORM CHASERS REPORTED A TORNADO 2 MILES EAST OF HARGRAVE.
More than a dozen times, storm chasers provided vital information about these tornadoes -- may of which occurred after dark -- which was used in the warning process. As far as I know, no serious injuries occurred.
I think it is time Kansas law enforcement quits whining about storm chasers and refocus on enforcing the law. I would also like to see the media give this issue much more balanced treatment.
I would also like to extend to all chasers who assist victims, send reports to the NWS, and behave professionally, my personal thanks.