DENVER (CBS4) – The tornadoes that tore through Oklahoma were terrifying, but others see it as an amazing spectacle.
“When the sirens went off, I was always in a panic,” Eric Treece said.
Treece was once the boy seeking shelter. Now he’s the man always up for a chase.
“To see a tornado up close and personal is surreal. It’s almost like you’re looking at a dream. Once you’ve seen one, you want to see more,” Treece said.
He’s seen over 100, including one in Kansas that he caught on camera. After 14 years of storm chasing he has all the gadgets — a camera, radio scanners and radar. But Oklahoma City is one place where he won’t chase.
“I’ve heard horror stories about how clogged the roads were with people who were not even chasers who were trying to escape the storm,” Treece said.
Treece says chasing in a metropolitan area is dangerous. The Weather Channel’s Tornado Hunt Truck even got destroyed.
“I would much rather be 30 miles east of here on open roads where it’s not going to hit anything,” Treece said. “You got debris problems to worry about. Tornados will carry debris for miles and miles.”
Treece keeps an eye ahead of all storms so he can safely chase his dream.
“There’s something about being out there with Mother Nature that nothing else can give you if you have that kind of passion,” Treece said.
Treece says he always has at least two escape routes in mind when he storm chases.