Texas Tornado Video: How a Storm Chaser Was Found in Storm Elgin
Chimera Comstock filmed the tornado’s approach until its camera was nearly ripped from its tripod.
ELGIN, Texas — Chimera Comstock was chasing storms in central Texas on Monday night when it decided to head a little further south toward Elgin, east of Austin.
It turned out to be a smart move, at least for Comstock, who hunts tornadoes professionally.
She caught a storm as she moved through Elgin, positioning her Subaru Impreza ahead and slightly west of her path, and filmed for about 20 minutes.
“We knew exactly where we were parked that it was going to be very close,” Comstock said.
Comstock filmed the approaching tornado until his camera was nearly ripped from its tripod. She managed to spin the footage, capturing the sheer force of a tornado at the base of her vortex as it passed.
Here’s an excerpt from the video Comstock shared with the WFAA:
As the video shows, debris from a nearby building was blown away by the tornado, causing insulation, glass and metal to leak into the air. His footage also showed nearby power lines being broken by the wind. Comstock, who made it through safely, said she was positioned just far enough away from the main part of the tornado that she and her vehicle weren’t moved by the storms, although the debris was still a risk.
It was evident when a piece of debris knocked out one of his car windows.
Monday night was the sixth time Comstock had taken a “direct hit” from a tornado as he pursued. She called the sights and sounds “must have”.
Debris flew over his head, his ears popped, and the storm rumbled.
While tornadoes are usually described as sounding like a freight train, Comstock said she had a more apt comparison: Niagara Falls.
“What they really look like if you’re at the base of Niagara Falls,” Comstock said. “Just this loud roar of water. It was very chaotic.”
A broken window didn’t end Comstock’s night. It continued east along the storm’s track and caught another tornado northeast of Elgin.
After a night of driving, she spent the night in her car, broken glass and all, and chased the same storm system in Louisiana and Mississippi.
His biggest takeaway for someone who watches his videos? Don’t try for yourself.
“Don’t be like me,” said Comstock, who has been chasing storms professionally since 2004. “It can be extremely dangerous.”