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CBS News -- American storm chaser Josh Morgerman went beyond merely capturing the destruction of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban on video.

When Morgerman went to the Philippines to document the storm, the last thing he expected was that he'd put down his camera -- and save lives.

As the center passed just south of the city, the bay just rose up and swept across the downtown area, Morgerman told CBS News' Bill Whitaker. All of a sudden the hotel was in water and it was just rising rapidly. The people in the first floor rooms were caught by surprise. So they were in the rooms with the water rising, like these death traps essentially.

Morgerman and his colleague Mark Thomas began floating people to safety on mattresses. Morgerman said, These people were in their rooms, they smashed the windows and they were screaming for help. When you see someone suffering like that, they're going to die if you don't do something, you don't think about it. You just go.

Morgerman had raced to the Philippines to get as close to the eye of Typhoon Haiyan as possible to collect scientific data and images.

He'd been in more than 20 major storms. He says Haiyan didn't seem like a monster at first.

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