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Chasing Tornadoes



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Ruin in its Wake
Photograph by Carsten Peter

A wasted landscape greets Samaras and his chase partner, Pat Porter, after a horrific tornado obliterated the South Dakota village of Manchester and its surroundings on June 24, 2003. On a tornado damage classification scale that ranges from F1 to F5, this was an F4—meaning it held winds of at least 200 miles an hour (300 kilometers an hour) capable of catastrophic damage. The tornado wiped away Manchester's six houses and ripped out this farmhouse north of town. Samaras and Porter were among the first on the scene, and feared what they might find in the rubble. Although several people were severely injured, no one died in the Manchester storm.





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