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Published On: Sun, Jun 2nd, 2013

Stormchasers Jim Samaras, son Tim Samaras and Paul Young killed in latest Oklahoma tornado strike

Three veteran storm chasers were among the 10 people killed Friday night when a violent tornado barreled into the Oklahoma City metro area.

Tim Samaras on 'Storm Chasers'

Tim Samaras on ‘Storm Chasers’

Jim Samaras told The Associated Press on Sunday that his brother Tim Samaras, 54, of Bennett, Colo., was killed. Tim Samaras’ son, 24-year-old Paul Samaras, also of Bennett; and another chaser, Carl Young, also died.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said the men were involved in tornado research.

Reportedly the Friday strike was an EF3 tornado with winds up to 165 mph.

“They put themselves in harm’s way so that they can educate the public about the destructive power of these storms,” Canadian County Undersheriff Chris West said of the men Sunday after Oklahoma’s governor turned out to view damage in his area.

Tim Samaras had appeared on the Discovery Channel‘s “Storm Chasers” show until last year.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Tim Samaras his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families,” Discovery Channel spokeswoman Laurie Goldberg said.

The channel planned to dedicate a show Sunday night to the three men, capping the broadcast with a tribute that will read: “In memory of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras who died Friday, May 31st doing what they love, chasing storms.”

In 2003, Samaras followed an F4 tornado that dropped from the sky on a sleepy road near Manchester, South Dakota. He deployed three probes in the tornado’s path, placing the last one from his car 100 yards ahead of the tornado itself.

“That’s the closest I’ve been to a violent tornado, and I have no desire to ever be that close again,” he said of that episode. “The rumble rattled the whole countryside, like a waterfall powered by a jet engine. Debris was flying overhead, telephone poles were snapped and flung 300 yards through the air, roads ripped from the ground, and the town of Manchester literally sucked into the clouds.”

“When I downloaded the probe’s data into my computer, it was astounding to see a barometric pressure drop of a hundred millibars at the tornado’s center,” he said, calling it the most memorable experience of his career. “That’s the biggest drop ever recorded-like stepping into an elevator and hurtling up 1,000 feet in ten seconds.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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