With the advent of the YouTube and reality television age, we have become accustomed to dramatic video footage of tornadoes. But those tornadoes are usually captured on video at a distance. Those holding the cameras or cell phones are usually peripheral to the action. In Rice, Texas, not only was a man able to videotape a tornado, he was caught up in it. In the video posted to CNN, there is little doubt he knew exactly where he was…
“We are in the tornado,” a male voice says with increasing urgency as he repeats the phrase over and over at the beginning of the video. A churning brownish-gray cloud of movement tosses all manner of debris in the foreground. The vehicle he is in then was rocked and shaken, bounced and buffeted by the coriolis forces spinning around it. At one point, the videographer seems to lose control of the camera as the vehicle is spun, coming to rest facing a different direction than when it was originally oriented.
According to WFAA in Dallas/Fort Worth, the tornado touched down in Rice and tore the roof off of Rice Intermediate School as it twisted along its path of destruction. A nearby sports complex was also hit. Several other properties were destroyed, not to mention the mayhem it caused as it went along Interstate 45.
One driver, Michael Harper, had his SUV crushed beneath a dump truck when the 28-wheeler carrying it tipped over onto him on the Interstate as the tornado passed. The truck landed just behind the driver’s compartment, so Harper and his passenger were able to escape the vehicle. After crawling out through the window, Harper took a picture of the devastated vehicle.
“If he had been off a few inches, the dump truck would’ve landed on the cab,” he observed.
Eric Myers, Navarro County’s emergency manager and the man who took the video with his cell phone camera, told WFAA, “It’s a raw, sheer power feeling. It’s just unbelievable. You can’t describe what it’s like to be that close.”
It could be said that he did a pretty good job of describing it with: “We are in the tornado.”
The dramatic video taken of the Texas tornado by Eric Myers and posted to CNN can be seen below. The WFAA news report from Rice follows.