HOUSTON -- Jason Cooley never expected to drive all the way to Houston in a day. Then again, he never expected to witness what he saw on Sunday.
Cooley, meteorology student at the University of Oklahoma, shot video of the tornado that struck Shawnee, Okla., on Sunday. For a storm-chasing meteorology student, it was the start of a four-day odyssey.
“I was just filled with adrenaline and fear,” Cooley said. “I knew I was safe, but I knew other people were not. It was just a very intense and stressful situation.”
A day later, a deadly tornado struck Moore, Okla. And like a lot of professional meteorologists, Cooley thought big trouble was headed for Texas.
So Cooley followed the deadly storm system as it headed south, and it didn’t take long for the bad weather to catch up with him just north of Madisonville.
He kept driving south on I-45, following the intense storm system as it approached Houston. Luckily, the worst he encountered was hail.
“You can really see the dents here,” Colley said referring to the wear and tear on his 1992 Oldsmobile 88 after the long, hard trip.
“I get excited for the storm and its uniqueness and powerfulness, but you never want to see a big tornado, ever,” he said.
The storm chaser left Houston convinced about one thing.
“Texas really lucked out.”