Caught On Tape, One Family Becomes Storm Chasers For The Day

By: Christine Kennedy
By: Christine Kennedy

Most people's first reaction when they see a twister would be to get out the way! But that's not the case for one family in Vanceboro, Craven County. As soon as they heard about the twister they drove straight towards it and got it all on tape. Click on the link to see the video and more on these storm chasers.

It's not something you see every day, twister off of NC 43 and it's all caught on tape. By 16 year old Keaton Smith and his father Randy.

Smith said, "I was watching Marvin Daugherty and he said there was a circulation over Honolulu moving east, so I thought I'd try to intercept it"

And that's when Smith grabbed his son and headed to Highway 43 where they ran right into the twister.

Smith said, "The dust at the bottom kept rolling and rolling and we could look up and see pine trees 30 to 40 feet tall just swallowing around about us, it's crazy"

Randy's wife Jewel says she didn't try to stop her boys.

And these storm chasers say they won't be stopping their filming any time soon.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Tim Location: Vanceboro on May 13, 2009 at 06:21 AM
    I said I wouldn't do it again but I did. Took my brother-in-law from Maine with me this time. Saw the one that was near WCHS but didn't get nearly as close to it as I did the one in Calico. He comes from a place that may only have 1 or 2 thunderstorms a year, so this was exceptionally exciting for him. First time for the huge hail too so it was pretty cool. For you mommies who want to protect your brood. Just wrap your arms around your kiddie and don't let them do anything.
  • by somebody Location: somewhere on May 9, 2009 at 06:25 PM
    i woudnt do it but some ppl really does like it so all u haters and jealous ppl just grow up. dont hate
  • by Phinneus Location: Country on May 8, 2009 at 09:08 AM
    I love tornadas and using a video camera contracption to record and chase them.
  • by Yeeh Hah Location: NC on May 7, 2009 at 02:47 PM
    Yeeh Hah!! Another tornado warning. Come on lest pack up the kids in the pick up truck and go chase it. Get the camera Bubba lets go.
  • by Tim Location: Vanceboro on May 7, 2009 at 06:57 AM
    Dave, I don't usually agree with you but that statement was a hoot! And first of all Don Wallace if you can immediately contact Basnight, Perdue, and Obama-good for you. This is definately a subject that needs to be addressed by those "windbags"! hahaha! Thanks Sam, and to you truth; you confuse sensitive with sensible. NO not chicken with a train, you can look at a storm with a camera from a distance, albeit a short distance, and only assume a small risk. If you play chicken with a train, you have a death wish and are simply stupid. I thought I explained the difference between risky and dangerous earlier but apparently you didn't get it, so here goes. Video a tornado in plain sight from a distance = somewhat risky! Put your 1 ton car on the rails versus a 10 ton speeding train = dangerous (and stupid) (May get hit with some small flying stuff at current distance while inside a vehicle vs. I plan on being dead 5 minutes from now)Clear? If not let me know, I'll get some crayons
  • by leo b. Location: vanceboro on May 7, 2009 at 03:05 AM
    To the mama/martin co..I've known the Smith family for a very long time my 2 boys growed up with theirs.For someone to say the things you did and not know the family is absurd!But that's your opinion and you know what they say opinions are like and it sounds like u are.Way to go to the Smith family..
  • by Don Wallace Location: Washington on May 6, 2009 at 07:15 PM
    I am DON WALLACE. I come from an old and long established family in Washington. We have much power and influence in this area. I HAVE DECIDED TO BAN TORNADO WATCHING IN BEAUFORT COUNTY. There will be no more chasing; there will be no more videos or photographs. I have considered the issue; I have made my decision, and it shall stand. I have contacted SENATOR MARC BASNIGHT, GOVERNOR BEVERLY PERDUE, AND PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. Legislation is being rushed through this minute. I am DON WALLACE. I have spoken. SO MOTE IT BE.
  • by The Truth Location: eastern NC on May 6, 2009 at 04:01 PM
    Goodness, what a sensitive bunch. My point is only to bring to light how your action in chasing a storm is not the most intelligent thing to do and now that you have done it I am sure more people without the intelligence to see the danger in doing it will do the same. Congratulations on your 15 minutes of fame. Hopefully our next grand chase won't end in you being on some disasters show where you are shown getting killed by a falling tree or by the storm flipping your truck or even worse. What is next - A video where you play chicken with a train?
  • by Anonymous on May 6, 2009 at 02:45 PM
    Wow, this was a crappy video. If they could actually steady the camera on the tornado it would have been a lot better. But, the camera keeps centering on unimportant parts.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on May 6, 2009 at 01:50 PM
    I forgot to mention before, that thing has got to be on You Tube. That video is incredible. Tim, about that statement that life experiences is what makes mature adults, Right On dude!
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