hurricane typhoon

Inside a category 4 hurricane: video from Harvey’s eye

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been glued to the television and online videos since last weekend’s Harvey landfall. It started with those first wild live streams from storm chasers in Rockport, Texas, and quickly gave way to days of life-threatening floods. Local residents and news stations gave me, an American hundreds of miles away, an up-to-date glimpse into the disaster as flood waters rose. Those images will stick with me, but one thing shook me more: simply seeing the mother nature at its fiercest.

Beyond the flooding in New Orleans, the power of water from the storm surge in Biloxi, Mississippi, from Katrina is always fresh in my mind during these events. I remember pulling out photos I’d taken just months before and comparing them to video from the area after the storm, feeling the shock and horror. Every once in a while I watch video of the surge taken from a casino on the water. And the stories from the people who survived! They are simply unimaginable, as the true power of nature is hard to contemplate unless you’ve experienced it.

For these reasons, I am both horrified and in awe of those willing to risk their lives to tell the story from inside the storm. They perform a valuable service that I hope, as I’m sure they do, saves lives by bringing to view the reality of the danger.

One such person, award-winning storm chaser Jeff Piotrowski, became an internet sensation overnight as Harvey made landfall in Rockport, TX.

Yes, he’s the one responsible for the #blueshed memes you’ve probably seen.

As stupid and dangerous as it was, Jeff and some fellow chasers took shelter at a car wash as the hurricane roared ashore, and they captured every minute as the wind howled and structures broke apart around them.

Live coverage Hurricane Harvey Cat 4+ at Rockport TX. #txwx

And inside the eye, they captured this amazing photo:

The calm of the eye with a back-lit starry sky. Wow.

I watched every minute of their live stream, and afterward, there’s only one thing I could say: mother nature can be fucking terrifying.

Watch Jeff’s videos. Then, next time you are deciding whether to evacuate a storm, remember what the wall of wind and rain looked like as Harvey’s eye wall passed. Still not phased? Watch the video below of Katrina’s storm surge and remember how it wiped parts of the Mississippi coast clean.

If these don’t scare you into action, I don’t know what will.

Hurricane Irma has formed in the Atlantic and is a category 3 as of 1100 PM AST on August 31st. Whether it will hit the US is unknown, so keep track with the National Hurricane Center, and stay safe! 



Krista's a freelance proofreader and writer who spends most days eyeballing medical texts, others crafting stories for teen games. Sometimes she even makes a few bucks with photography. One thing's always true--she's got a hot geek streak for historical and scientific discovery.

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