[Part 4 of 4] We parked beside the road at the west edge of Aurora, ready to drive through town and away while dreading the tornado's imminent impact there. A tornado siren eerily wailed behind me; otherwise, the scene was oddly silent and ominously dark in the fading twilight. Police had blocked all traffic westward out of town, and no other chase vehicles had arrived at our location yet from the tornado area, leaving the road empty, and giving me a potent sense of smallness and solitude in the face of something far larger and more powerful. And yet, there was a railroad crossing and its signage in the way, about a block back up the road. Already being outside with camera ready and metering calibrated, I asked Elke to back the car to just east of the tracks, while I sprinted hard that way to get the railroad hardware out of the scene. Confident my vehicle would show up well before it was needed, I also was blessed with the uncommon experience of running full speed toward a tornado that (at the moment anyway) was coming toward me. Braced down on one knee, composing the scene, then rapid-firing handheld shots, I was able to capture this, one of my very favorite tornado photos. The better news: The vortex veered harder to its left and my right, and spared Aurora.
1 W Aurora NE (17 Jun 9), Looking W