I was out on a local chase on April 2, 2017, and was about 20 miles away from home when I noticed this cell exhibiting some pretty crazy potential. It was a high risk day, and this storm had formed near the warm front in an enhanced zone of shear, and it was pretty clear something would happen. The problem I had as a chaser was that this was going to hit very close to home, so I made the decision to quickly run home, grab my family, load them in the car, and punch through the forward flank of the storm to get us out of harm’s way, and keep reporting for our local TV station via my Facebook feed. We encountered some nickel to quarter sized hail as we came through the eastern side of the cell, and were always far removed from the rotation. The picture attached is our view from four miles south of town as this was doing damage in town. This is around the time we got a text from a friend 1/2 mile away that a tree had fallen through their house. Then the reports really started flowing. We drove back through the damage path to find several inaccessible roads. When we made it home, hardly a leaf was out of place, but there was damage as close as 1/4 mile away. Since we don’t have basements down here, I feel I made the right decision, and balanced the risk well. I’m also glad I was able to keep the livestream going so people knew it was serious.
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