Fifteen years ago on May 24th, 2008, a large tornado wiped out Seaboard’s Sow Farm #62 in Lacey, this made national news and it was all caught on camera by Hennessey’s Jack Quirk. At the time, Quirk was a professional storm chaser working with KOCO Ch5, ABC News, The Weather Channel, and CNN. Quirk said, “That was a single supercell day, that large storm came together very quickly and was out there all by itself. There were no other storms with it so it was easy to get close.”
When the tornado warning came out, Quirk was one of the only ground chasers in the area. Quirk said, “The rest of my storm team was staged east of Hennessey and I knew I was the only one close to it. I was monitoring Mason Dunn, the Channel 9 helicopter pilot on my radio so I knew he was above me and getting good shots.” Quirk was approaching the storm from the east on Hwy 51 when he got to Hwy 132 when the storm turned tornadic and touched down west of Lacey. Quirk said, “I couldn’t tell at that point what it hit but the debris cloud was huge. I got to the farm about the same time as the first responders and found the farm was a total loss.”
This storm made national news. Quirk and Dunn were featured on the Discovery Channel and History Channel and the footage went to all of the national news agencies.
There were several employees in the building when the storm hit and, remarkably, no animals or people were injured in the storm.