TUPELO, MISS. (WCBi) Those who knew Tim Samaras say he was a man on a mission.
“Tim’s passion was science and to figure out how the world works and why some tornadoes may completely destroy a building and then not touch others,” said Geoff Carter, president of Hyperion Technology Group.
Carter’s Tupelo based company built probes, known as a severe weather anemometer , which were designed by Samaras. They are placed in the path of a storm or tornado and are known for their ability to withstand nature’s fury and also to collect valuable data.
“Sensors that Tim worked on did a variety of things, from measuring barometric pressure inside tornadoes, He also helped us with a project we did for NOAA developing a storm surge sensor that was intended for hurricane type research and monitoring,” Carter said.
This video shows Samaras setting up probes in advance of Hurricane Isaac’s landfall last summer on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Last Friday, Samaras, his 24 year old son Paul and another storm chaser, Carl Young, were killed while pursuing an EF3 tornado near Oklahoma City.
Samaras was based out of Hyperion’s Colorado office and was known as not only one of the best storm chasers, but also one of the most cautious.
“All sensors Tim built were intended to be deployed ahead of the storm, whether it was a hurricane probe or tornado probe. The way Tim worked, he would go miles ahead of the storm where he thought it was going to go , deploy his sensors and get out of the way, miles away,” Carter said.
Carter says his friend’s desire was to collect data and research on violent storms and weather, in order to save lives and help others.
“All the research he did and though science was his passion, and how storms formed, his goal was to save lives and so a lot of the probes and sensors he designed and engineered, that was all geared to saving lives and we use his technology today and the things he developed have already saved countless number of lives and will continue to in the future.”
Samaras was found in his vehicle with his seat belt still on. His son and partner were located some distance from the crushed truck. Authorities are still investigating the debris path of the twister and they hope to find all of Samaras’ cameras to help determine what went wrong.