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Chasing the storm

By JOLEEN FERRIS

CLINTON, N.Y. (WKTV) - The middle of their work day suddenly took on the feel of a made-for-tv movie, as JPJ Electronic employees Bob Verdon and Ryan Decker found themselves chasing a tornado near Hamilton College in Clinton on the way back to work Tuesday. The twister bounced around College Hill and Miller Road.

"We finally caught up to it," Vernon said. "It was moving pretty quick, maybe 60 miles an hour or so, it was difficult to catch up to. Every once in a while you'd see these funnels dropping out of it and one by the farm and I thought for sure it was going to do some damage to the farm there, the barn and silo, but it went back up and came down on the other side of the road."

Verdon was driving. Decker was an occasionally pessimistic passenger, but once he got his Blackberry in hand and began recording the tornado, the adrenaline kicked in.

"We were like, 'I just got that on video' like wow, holy crap then all of a sudden you see tree limbs flying at us...hail coming out of nowhere, farm objects going across the road, cars stopping, rain, we can't see and then this tornado just comes out of nowhere and I got this on my phone," says Decker.

Were they scared? Not really. The 18-year-old Decker wasn't thinking storm damage as much as public relations.

"Interest in the video is pretty big because you hang out with your buddies later and they're all like 'did you hear about that tornado?' and you're like, 'uh...that's my video, kinda got that in my pocket on my phone," Decker said.

The two are quick to add that they were also capturing the video and tracking the storm in order to notify friends and loved ones and keep them safe, telling them what areas to avoid. They also shared their video with the National Weather Service.

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