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Chasers Posed Hazard During Kansas Storm

KSAL StaffApril 10, 2015
The head of a group that represents Kansas emergency responders says it's time to consider rules for storm chasers in the wake of the deaths of three professional chasers in Oklahoma.

Authorities in Barber County are warning storm chasers to chill out on the roads during tornadoes.

Officials estimate between 150 to 200 different storm chasers were on Barber County roads during Wednesday’s storms. Apparently the rush to get a shot of a tornado caused congestion problems and added to already unsafe driving conditions.

Authorities want storm chasers to think twice and be careful when chasing potentially deadly storms.

KSN News from Wichita reported that Barber County Sheriff Justin Rugg says most of the professional storm chasers are not the issue. But the amateur storm chasers with just a cell phone are becoming an issue.

Sheriff Rugg points to dash cam video from a county emergency vehicle that tells the story. The video shows a car not getting out of the way, even though the emergency vehicle taking the dash cam video has its emergency lights on.

“Then there were the others that would just stop on the highway,” said Sheriff Rugg. “They might pull off a little bit and they’re out there with their cell and maybe have a video camera.”

Sheriff Rugg said cars were on both sides of the roadway, but his main concern is the video of cars not moving out of the way for emergency vehicles.

“I drove through the line of cars and I got on my PA and started telling people to move their vehicles,” said Rugg.

In Sedgwick County, emergency management says storm chasers were blocking the road at 21st and 295th Street creating a hazard.

Story from: Metro Source News / KSN


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