On April 15, 2012, storm chaser Marty Logan tracked a tornado that was heading towards his hometown of Woodward, Oklahoma. The twister reached almost a quarter-mile wide and struck in the middle of the night, wiping out the city’s power and consequently its tornado sirens.
Six lives were lost and dozens were injured when the tornado, rated an EF-3 (EF-5 being the most severe), touched down. Logan works for Oklahoma City based KWTV News 9 and many credit him with saving lives that night.
Logan, a retired firefighter, alerted people to where the storm was heading and called for emergency help on-air. People were able to watch his broadcasts on their computers or on television in areas with power. Viewers from as far away as California heard his warnings and phoned family and friends in Woodward to alert them of the threat.
His work was honoured at the state capital and garnered his broadcast team an Emmy nomination.
The Trinidad truck
The day after the storm, Logan was at the emergency operations command centre when he ran into someone from Trinidad’s Woodward operations.
“A guy from Trinidad approached me and said, ‘we want to help.’ And I thought they meant buy me a tank of gas,” said Logan with a little chuckle.
It turned out the Trinidad employee was offering more than gas; he was offering a truck. Trinidad gave Logan a pickup with low mileage from its fleet and helped outfit the inside.
“Trinidad in Woodward fixed this pickup up with everything I would need to chase storms. And that’s what I drive now,” said Logan, who explained that having a reliable truck is important for his own safety.
Logan, who first got into storm chasing 21-years-ago after answering an ad in a local newspaper, travels across Oklahoma and sometimes into neighboring states to track weather events, especially during Oklahoma’s tornado season which runs from mid-March to mid-June. Logan also reports on blizzards and prairie fires in his Chevrolet, which is branded with decals that read “Storm Tracker” and “Trinidad Drilling.” He also added adamantly that he always drives the speed limit.
Why we think his work is important
Trinidad supports Logan because his work exemplifies two Trinidad values: safety and community involvement. Safety is of paramount importance to Trinidad, and we strive to make a difference in the communities where we do business. By providing advanced storm and tornado warnings, Logan protects communities and helps the people of Oklahoma stay safe.
“This is not like Twister on TV. This is real life,” he said. “There are real people that we help.”
Find out about other Trinidad community-involvement initiatives here.
Note: Thanks to a donation by Apache Corporation, Woodward now has battery backup tornado sirens.