- Every time I go storm chasing, I encounter
some new, something I haven't seen before. Today was... Interesting.
- We were chasing a tornado-warned storm
near the town of Pecos, Texas and one thing to keep in mind is
that this region has already seen tremendous amounts of rain
and flooding in recent days, so we knew the ground was already
saturated, and that flooding was likely.
- As we drove north, the ditches began
to be filled with water, then there was water on the road. The
situation was getting worse. Tremendous amounts rain and hail
had been coming down in one small area to the point where there
was low lying hail-fog obscuring our visibility. There were 6-8
inches of hail drifts in places.
- What happened next was the most intense
flash flooding event I've been in.
- The road was now completely covered
and impossible to see. The hail had stripped a lot of the leaves
off of the trees, and they were floating in the brown water,
along with tremendous amounts of hail, turning the flash-flood
waters into a slurry of water, dirt, ice and vegetation. It looked
like a horizontal landslide. That's the best way I can describe
- We couldn't turn back because it took
tremendous effort to get where we were, plus we knew that the
water was rising behind us to the point where we saw several
flooded out cars, so we had little choice but to move forward.
I know, I know. "Turn around, don't drown" It's the
slogan that reminds people of how dangerous crossing flooded
roads can be. However, I had a plan...
- We waited at the edge of the water
until an unwise pickup truck driver decided to go for it. Heading
towards us from the other direction, he made it. The road was
not undercut, and my clearance was higher than his, so I should
- Even while parked, the movement of
the debris filled water gave the optical illusion of movement.
It was a bizarre sensation. Once I put the van into gear and
hit the gas, we were committed. It was like a river crossing.
I could feel the current of the water pushing the van from the
left side, but I could steer into the current to compensate.
When we reached the other side, I was incredibly relieved....
So was everyone else!
- I do not recommend doing this. Here's