Storm Chasers to Avoid Chasing Storms in Crane County

by Michael Stafford
NewsWest 9

A recent arrest in Crane County is keeping some storm chasers out of that part of West Texas.

You may recall last week, we showed you that Deputy arresting a professional storm chaser who was helping the Weather Service, and had refused to leave the area.

Now, the head of one storm chasing group says many professionals and volunteers plan to avoid Crane County in the future.

Those volunteers and professionals associated with the National Association of Storm Chasers and Spotters or NASCAS is the group we've been speaking with.

The acting Director, Warren Faidley, says in 20 years he's never had any problems with law enforcement.

In fact, he says troopers and officers have welcomed their help during times of severe weather, because they're helping protect the public.

Faidley tells NewsWest Nine they're going to avoid Crane County in the future, because they believe another arrest is immenent if they go there.

"Well, I think the main reason we're upset is because there were numerous witnesses and also video.  So there was very little question of what actually occurred.  I think with that kind of information you can draw a pretty fair conclusion.  So, a lot of people I've spoken to from storm spotters to storm chasers and just everybody in between from researchers to news people from out of the area are pretty much going to try to avoid the area," Faidley said.

The Sheriff's Office has maintained the Deputy was in the right, and that the storm chaser was obstructing the highway, which is a Class B Misdemeanor.

Crane County does have its own volunteers from that area, but as Faidley says it's always good to have a professional organization assisting with the process when lives are in danger.

Only time will tell what affect this may have on Crane County when severe weather hits there in the future.