Discovery Channel will air a one-hour special on June 2 called Mile Wide Tornado: Oklahoma Disaster, which examines the May 20 Oklahoma tornado tragedy near Oklahoma City and the city of Moore. The program looks at the devastating event through the eyes of the people who survived the EF5 tornado that traveled over 17 miles and lasted about 45 minutes.
According to TV Line, Discovery will be dedicating this special to Tim Samaras and Carl Young, stars of the former Discovery Channel series Storm Chasers. Tim Samaras and Carl Young, along with Samaras’ photographer son Paul, were killed this past Friday while tracking an EF3 tornado that hit El Reno, Oklahoma. According to a statement from Discovery, “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Tim Samaras and his son Paul and their colleague Carl Young. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.” TV Line reports that a dedication card has been added to the Mile Wide Tornado special, reading: “In memory of Tim Samaras, Carl Young and Paul Samaras who died Friday, May 31st doing what they love, chasing storms.”
The deaths of those three men show the extreme danger involved in studying these storms. Mile Wide Tornado interviews other storm chasers, meteorologists and emergency management personnel who battled to save lives during the May 20 Oklahoma tornado, and offers exclusive footage of now-condemned areas. The special also features user-generated footage of that Oklahoma tornado, and conducts original interviews with those who recorded the first-hand accounts.
The program also seeks to answer the “why” behind the Oklahoma tornado, including questions such as: How did the tornado form? How was this different from a similar EF5 tornado that hit in the same area in 1999? What role did the warning system have in saving lives?
Mile Wide Tornado comes from Pioneer Productions, which has also captured extreme weather in documentaries about the 2011 Japanese tsunami, and Superstorm Sandy, through what they call an “instamentary” format.
Mile Wide Tornado: Oklahoma Disaster premieres June 2 at 10pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel.
Credit: Discovery Channel