Storm Highway by Dan Robinson
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Summer's Rolling In: Charleston, WV - May 24, 2000 - 9:30 PM

By DAN ROBINSON
Storm Chaser/Photographer
25 Years of Storm Chasing
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Sometimes I think, man, it would be great if I could go back and erase every mistake I made. Especially those ones several years ago. Life would be so much different now. You know where I'm coming from?

Well, I have some interesting stuff to tell you about your mistakes. There's someone who wants to take them, throw them a long way away (as far as the east is from the west, to be more specific), and put your life back together . . . if you'll let Him. So, how about it?

Well, it happens three or four times a year- Charleston scores a direct hit by a great storm. Wednesday, May 24 was the first of one of these events in 2000.

After leaving church at 8:30 PM, I spotted the setting sun silhuetting a large, distant thunderstorm cell west of Charleston (last photo below). I checked the radar (at left) and found the storm was in Ohio crossing into WV, heading straight for Charleston.

Grab the camera, film, tripod.....Time to go.

I headed downtown to the South Side Bridge over the Kanawha River, and set up the camera facing west in the middle of the bridge walkway as the storm moved in (radar below) quickly erasing the diminishing sunlight.

I've decided this bridge is a great spot to shoot storms. The view over the river is unobstructed, with streetlights far enough away to avoid glare. The large metal truss superstructure is a safe lightning shelter, and having a good umbrella keeps most of the rain off the lens.

By the way, the Charleston Daily Mail has a live webcam of the South Side bridge 24 hours a day. Next time it storms, look for the green and white umbrella.....

Visible in the photos: On the left side of the river, MacCorkle Avenue traffic and the Charleston depot 'clone' building. On the right side, Haddad Riverfront Park (the levee). Straight ahead- the I-64 bridge.

Camera/Lens/Film: 35mm Pentax K1000 SLR, 28mm lens, Kodak 100 ASA.
Exposure: 5 to 15 seconds @ F8

BELOW: The approaching storm.

[ click above images to enlarge ]

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