(Norman, Oklahoma) A former Atlantic resident witnessed the EF5 tornado that tore a path through Moore, Oklahoma Monday. Chris Karstens, a 2003 Atlantic High School graduate, is a research scientist for the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma.
Karstens was documenting the tornado from a mile away as it went into Moore. He has chased over 100- tornadoes over the past five or six years, but this is the first one he has witnessed that swept through a populated area.
“The thing that really struck me was the roar of the tornado, it was the loudest roar I have ever heard,” stated Karstens. “Often time’s people will associate it with a freight train noise or a waterfall. But this one had a unique continuity to the sound.You could hear it grinding and impacting things and for me it was a heartache knowing that it was going through Moore. I lived there prior to moving to Norman and I felt terrible.”
And he says you couldn’t really see the tornado because it was rain wrapped…but he could smell the devastation.
“As it was passing nearby we could smell insulation and a fresh lumber smell and a lot of debris fell out of the sky and landing in our area and on our car.”
Chris Karstens says this is the third significant tornado strike in Moore over the past 14-years. He admits they don’t have enough data or knowledge to suggest this area is more prone to having this kind of weather. So they are calling it purely coincidental.
May 23, 2013