Central Kansas Officials Criticize Storm Chasers

April 19, 2012

Some central Kansas safety officials say storm chasers created traffic jams and put others in danger while following severe weather that hit the state during the weekend.

But professional storm chasers are defending the practice, saying they provide valuable information to public officials during stormy weather.

Dickinson County officials compared traffic to a funeral procession along some roads and highways during storms Saturday in northwest portions of the county. They told The Salina Journal that some storm chasers would not move for emergency vehicles and drove over active power lines.

Lanny Dean, who runs an Oklahoma-based storm chasing company, contends legitimate storm chasers help provide information and educate their customers about weather dangers. He says amateurs who cause the problems are giving professionals a bad name.

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