A little over three years ago, Mississippi saw one of its worst tornado outbreaks in decades. Between April 27 and April 30, tornados ravaged the area. On April 29 in particular, 13 people died.
On that day, a Mississippi meteorologist soon took his own advice when a huge tornado struck the station he reports from. WTVA Chief Meteorologist Matt Laubhan led an evacuation of the newsroom in the midst of reporting on a violent tornado.
Laubhan was telling viewers of the dangerous tornado rolling through Tupelo when he switched to the tower cam. As the station experienced power issues and difficulties, Laubhan started directing his crew to safety.
“You’ve got to be in your safe space,” Laubhan said during the broadcast. “This is a tornado ripping through the city of Tupelo as we speak.” Laubhan switched to the tower shot. A dark, blurry sky whirred in the horizon. Then, the video feed showed signs of breaking up.
As it came back, Laubhan directed his crew to safety. In one shot, Laubhan pointed to personnel off-camera. Watch the whole harrowing clip below.
Many of the tornados during that outbreak hit EF4 strength. Those twisters produce winds up to 200 miles per hour, which is strong enough to rip homes clean from their foundations.
During that swath of storms, at least 30 people lost their lives. Millions of dollars of damage also struck several communities across the south. Thousands of families lost their homes as well.
As we roll into tornado season, it’s important to remember just how serious these storms are. Many folks tend to underestimate the severity and speed of tornados.
Let videos like these be reminders to take warnings seriously and always have a good plan for when severe weather strikes. Thanks to the quick-acting advice of this weatherman, who knows how many people made it through the storm.