ELGIN, Texas — Chimera Comstock was chasing storms in Central Texas on Monday evening when she decided to head a little further south, toward Elgin, east of Austin.
It turned out to be a smart decision, at least for Comstock, who chases tornadoes professionally.
She picked up on a storm as it moved into Elgin, positioning her Subaru Impreza in front of and slightly to the west of its path, and filmed for about 20 minutes.
"We knew right where we were parked that it was going to be really close," Comstock said.
And she was.
Comstock filmed the approaching tornado until her camera nearly got ripped off its tripod. She managed to keep the footage rolling, capturing the sheer force of a tornado at the base of its vortex as it passed by.
Here's a clip of video Comstock shared with WFAA:
As the video shows, debris from a nearby building was swept into the tornado, causing insulation, glass and metal to fly into the air. Her footage also showed nearby power lines being snapped in the wind. Comstock, who made it through safely, said she was positioned just far enough from the main part of the tornado that she and her vehicle weren't moved by the storms, though debris was still a risk.
That was evident when a piece of debris knocked out one of the windows on her car.
Monday night was the sixth time Comstock had taken a "direct hit" from a tornado while chasing. She called the sights and sounds "unmistakable."
Debris flew above her head, her ears popped and the storm roared.
While tornadoes are typically described as having the sound of a freight train, Comstock said she had a more apt comparison: Niagara Falls.
"What they really sound like if you're at the base of Niagara Falls," Comstock said. "Just that loud, water roar. It was very chaotic."
A broken window didn't end Comstock's night. She continued east along the path of the storm and caught another tornado northeast of Elgin.
After a night of driving, she spent the night in her car, broken window and all, and chased the same storm system into Louisiana and Mississippi.
Her biggest takeaway for someone watching her videos? Don't try it for yourself.
"Don't do as I do," said Comstock, who's been chasing storms professionally since 2004. "It can be extremely dangerous."