Discovery Channel's Stormchasers tracking storms in E. Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Discovery Channel's Stormchasers tracking storms in E. Texas

Photo Source: Jim Magness Photo Source: Jim Magness
Photo Source: Jim Magness Photo Source: Jim Magness
Photo Source: Jim Magness Photo Source: Jim Magness
Photo Source: Jim Magness Photo Source: Jim Magness
Photo Source: Jim Magness Photo Source: Jim Magness

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Stormchasers from the Discovery Channel have been spotted in East Texas.

Witnesses say the Stormchasers were spotted staying overnight at a hotel in Jacksonville and leaving around 10:00 am, Tuesday to head north where the storms are expected to hit.

KLTV 7s Jena Johnson chased them as they prepared to chase storms.

Traveling in a 14,000 lb armored vehicle known as the TIV, Tornado Interceptive Vehicle, the Discovery Channel's Stormchasers are tracking twisters.

"We're just sitting here. Waiting for the atmosphere to get prime," said a storm chaser with the crew.

We first caught up with them in this Tyler parking lot, where they were preparing for the chase. A storm chaser was attaching water-proof cameras to the outside of the vehicle.

The TIV's owner, Sean Casey, calls tracking storms in the piney woods chainsaw chasing, which can be incredibly dangerous.

"Over here when you get into the forest it becomes a bit more dangerous and more difficult because you can't see where the tornado is when you're following them," said Casey.

Casey says the TIV is designed to withstand tornadic activity. Flaps on each side of the vehicle are here so powerful winds can't lift the vehicle.

"Then we have these spikes on each side of the vehicle that can go forty inches into the ground as anchors and then the area around where the people are it's an inch thick poly carbon kind of bullet resistant windows," said Casey.

On the road again, the crew heads north down I-20. Around 2 o'clock p.m. Tuesday, the storm chasers stopped in Canton to fuel up.

"We're kind of staged out ahead of where the initial activity will develop," said a storm chaser. "That way storms will be moving towards us and we can intercept them a lot faster as opposed to being out of position when they develop and have to go chase after them."

Casey says there are brief what if moments when he's trapped in a harness and a tornado is spawning head on.

"There's terror," he said. "There's panic, but for me I'm focusing on my job to stay sane and focusing on what I have to do and that's to get a shot of a tornado coming at us."

The chasers move on, headed straight for the storms.

Click here to learn more about Discovery's Stormchasers

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