Today is World Heritage day - celebrating monuments and landmarks meant to capture and retell our history. In Oklahoma, there are a variety of iconic statues and memorials across the state that tell many tales - none quite like the stories of the three storm chasers that were killed by one of the largest tornados in history.

The Event

On May 31, 2013, a F3 tornado, spanning 2.6 miles wide tore through El Reno, Oklahoma. Although people were expecting severe weather, especially after the Moore tornado that destroyed the community just days prior to the 31st, they were not prepared for the events to follow.

A Recipe for Disaster

This particular tornado was almost an anomaly for storm chasers; while it touched down, several sub-vortices were spotted around the rain-wrapped funnel. As the tornado continued to grow, it unfortunately took an unexpected turn that veered straight to the three men from the Twistex team. Caught on a soupy clay, gravel backroad, there was no escape.

The Twistex Memorial

The memorial for Tim Samaras, Paul Samaras, and Carl Young sits at the site that their mangled vehicle was found after the chaos. From the site, visitors can span fields for miles and visualize just how dangerous it was for the team to travel the dirt roads in order to chase this storm.

Everyone who spoke about Tim Samaras mentioned that he was the safest of all storm chasers - specifically trying to gain knowledge in order to increase warning times and preparedness for everyone impacted by tornados.

Visitors can pay their respects at the Twistex Memorial at any time, but it is important to consider the roads when traveling.

During World Heritage day, there are several monuments and landmarks you can visit - not all were created in specific honor for a sacrifice such as the Twistex' team.

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