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This Connecticut man chases tornadoes — and he’s legally blind

HARTFORD -- Steve Famiglietti's passion isn't for the faint of heart. His idea of a vacation is chasing tornadoes but he is far from your average storm chaser. He views this wicked weather through a different lens.

“The thing that we always say in storm chasing is you hurry up and wait,” Steve Famiglietti told FOX61’s Jenn Bernstein while he continued to pack for a trip he’d been looking forward to.

“I`m leaving tomorrow which is the 31st of May,” Famiglietti said earlier this year. “I like to go a day before the trip starts."

Steve was on his way to Colorado to storm chase. “We have to go wherever the targets are going to be, so every day we could be in a different place,” said Famiglietti. “Sometimes the target changes dramatically from what we were told the night before and in the morning things change.”

Every year Famiglietti joins a professional tour for two weeks, searching for the very weather most people run from. Famiglietti isn't your typical storm chaser, he's legally blind.

“I have usable vision in my left eye only, not in my right eye, so in my right eye I`m not sighted at all,” explained Famiglietti.

Famiglietti said there are people on the tours that ask him, “Why are you here? What is this for you?”

“I explain all of that to them. How much I like the lightning, and hearing the thunder, and the hail and everything and then they get it,” said Famiglietti.

His storm chasing days began with an email to Roger Hill, the owner of Silver Lining Tours.

“So I wrote to him and said, this is who I am, I`m legally blind,” said Famiglietti. “I would like to come chasing with your company and basically they wrote back to me and said, tell us how we can help you. How can we make this a good experience for you?”

Steve has been storm chasing now for eleven years, and he doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

“My goal is to see this huge tornado on the ground and you just sit and watch it. That`s kind of my ultimate thing,” said Famiglietti.

Famiglietti saw a total of three tornadoes on his tour this past Spring. This year’s adventure brought him to Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Nebraska.

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