Surreal video: Attack of the killer tornado

posted at 4:24 pm on April 18, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via the Standard, which notes the narrator’s explanation for his nerves of steel: “I was a Marine, and I love Jesus!” Nearly two dozen people in North Carolina and more than 40 total across six states were killed in the storms over the weekend, with untold numbers of others like our hero here having barely survived close encounters. Quote:

Lowe’s store manager Michael Hollowell had heard the tornado warnings, but his first clue that the danger was outside his front door came when he saw his staff running toward the back of the home improvement store.

More than 100 employees and customers screamed in near unison when the steel roof curled off overhead Saturday. The store was becoming part of the wreckage left by a ferocious storm system bristling with killer twisters that ripped through the South.

“You could hear all the steel ripping. People screaming in fear for their lives,” Hollowell told The Associated Press.

I’m tempted to turn this into a “Metaphor of the Day” post in honor of this morning’s fiscal tornado sighting, but the analogy doesn’t quite work. For one thing, the narrator here isn’t so stupid as to drive towards the twister, as Cool Hand Luke in the White House is busy doing. And for another, our longstanding national paralysis isn’t due to fortitude in the teeth of an uncontrollable situation but to the fact that American voters loooove entitlements and loooove lower taxes and simply aren’t willing to accept that those two preferences are irreconcilable in the long term. For all the venom we spit at America’s political class, they’ve taken a perfectly rational (i.e. self-interested) approach in following the perfectly irrational policy choices of the public on deficit spending. Which is why, as much as I enjoy Ace’s posts on how the GOP can win the messaging war on the debt battle, I think they’re an exercise in futility. It might help at the margins, but no one in Congress is under any illusions: In all likelihood, their thanks for striking a “grand bargain” that significantly reforms entitlements and puts the country back on track to sustainability will be an electoral bloodletting. Which is to say, to avoid a fiscal tornado, they’ll have to drive into a political one. Leadership.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Bravely Stupid
Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in that weather.

Kini on April 18, 2011 at 4:27 PM

the Sanford store was about 15 miles from me. It was a bad day in NC on Sat.

unseen on April 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Ever see what a hunk of wood does to sheet metal of even safety glass when its driven at over 100mph?

This guy hasn’t.

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 4:30 PM

the Sanford store was about 15 miles from me.

unseen on April 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM

I’m glad you’re safe

Kini on April 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Was that orangish color a propane tank going up?

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Loved this comment at YouTube:

“He wouldn’t be able to get away quickly enough, dragging a two ton set of balls around like that.”

Classic.

rcpjr on April 18, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Ever see what a hunk of wood does to sheet metal of even safety glass when its driven at over 100mph?

This guy hasn’t.

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 4:30 PM

I’ve heard stories of straws going through fenceposts.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 4:32 PM

“For all the venom we spit at America’s political class, they’ve taken a perfectly rational (i.e. self-interested) approach in following the perfectly irrational policy choices of the public on deficit spending.”

Too bad we are not sitting on trillions of barrels of oil and natural gas…

… then we could add “revenue” to the equation.

Oh, wait…!

Seven Percent Solution on April 18, 2011 at 4:32 PM

I’ve heard stories of straws going through fenceposts.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 4:32 PM

You need to watch more Mythbusters.

Smiles on April 18, 2011 at 4:35 PM

For one thing, the narrator here isn’t so stupid as to drive towards the twister, as Cool Hand Luke in the White House is busy doing.

He’s actually riding his bicycle inside the tornado. The question is how soon will America see him for the evil person he is?

SouthernGent on April 18, 2011 at 4:36 PM

I’m glad you’re safe

Kini on April 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

thx. I just wished everyone was. too many deaths and too much destruction

unseen on April 18, 2011 at 4:37 PM

Which is why, as much as I enjoy Ace’s posts on how the GOP can win the messaging war on the debt battle, I think they’re an exercise in futility.

Rino in a nutshell. Can’t change a thing…no sense in trying.
Peanut gallery…

winston on April 18, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Nerves of steel.

ted c on April 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM

This guy is a future Darwin Award winner.

CoffeeMan on April 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Get ready for the Global Warming blame for tornado’s.

For one thing, the narrator here isn’t so stupid as to drive towards the twister, as Cool Hand Luke in the White House is busy doing.

A failure to communicate.

Kini on April 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM

YOU CAN HELP

** Abby Cameron of the local Red Cross said the SanLee Middle School shelter is in dire need of food donations from area restaurants to feed the displaced residents. Call 774-6857 if you are interested in helping.

** The Red Cross asks that potential volunteers meet at 9 a.m. today at the county office, located at 507 N. Steele St.

** A Facebook page, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Lee County” has been created containing information on businesses that both need help and have offered to lend a hand.

FROM REP. RENEE ELLMERS

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers released the following statement on Saturday’s storms:

“I have been in touch with state and local officials and have offered my full support. I am getting regular firsthand reports of damage from the ground. Members of my staff have already visited some of the sites of the worst damage in Harnett County, and we will continue to assess damage across the District. My prayers go out to all those in our community affected by this devastating storm.”

FROM SEN. KAY HAGAN

U.S. Sen. Kay R. Hagan commented on the tornadoes and severe thunderstorms striking North Carolina.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost loved ones in this violent storm. My office and I continue to monitor the damage from the severe weather system striking our state today — some of the worst weather to hit North Carolina since 1984. I will be working with the Governor’s office, as well as federal, state and local emergency responders to deliver help to those in need as quickly as possible.”

MORE EYE-WITNESSES

** “That choo-choo train sound? That was real. People who talk about the train sound, they know what they’re talking about. When the building started shaking, we dove in between some shelves. We then curled up and prayed for the lord to help us. And it looks like he did. When it was all done, I was thankful I was alive.” — Jimmy Hall, shopper at Tractor Supply when the tornado hit

** “Next thing I know, the car started being pushed. I said, ‘Lord, I’m about to die,’ … that’s all I can say.” — Melinda Hill, driver on Lee Avenue when the tornado struck

** “We were looking out the window, and we saw it coming. We started screaming and running until we hit the back of the store. We got back there, and we saw debris blowing through the hallway. So we ducked in the hallway and just stayed there.” — Angela Sherry, visiting her daughter at Lowe’s Home Improvement, where she is an employee

** “I had just walked in the door, halfway through the store, when somebody yelled ‘tornado,’ and I just got down. I could hear the rain coming through the roof and the wind tearing the roof off. I couldn’t see anything because I kept my head down.” — Michelle Adams, a shopper at Lowe’s when the tornado hit

** “I was checking out a customer when it hit. You could see it out the window coming right at us. We all ran to the back of the store and just got down. I didn’t have a mindset at the time, to be honest with you. I just wanted it to end.” — Nicole Mabry, cashier at Lowe’s working in the front when the tornado hit.

Read more: Sanford Herald – Tornado briefs How to help where to find shelter

unseen on April 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Which is why, as much as I enjoy Ace’s posts on how the GOP can win the messaging war on the debt battle, I think they’re an exercise in futility.

this is how you change the debate:

And Tea Party Americans won an electoral victory of historic proportions last November. We the people, we rose up and we decisively rejected the left’s big government agenda. We don’t want it. We can’t afford it. And we are unwilling to pay for it.

But what was the president’s reaction to this mandate for fiscal sanity?

Less than 90 days after the election, in his State of the Union address, President Obama told us, nah, the era of big government is here to stay, and we’re going to pay for it whether we want to or not. Instead of reducing spending, they’re going to “Win The Future” by “investing” more of your hard-earned money in some cockamamie harebrained ideas like more solar shingles, more really fast trains – some things that venture capitalists will tell you are non-starters. We’re flat broke, but he thinks these solar shingles and really fast trains will magically save us. So now he’s shouting “all aboard” his bullet train to bankruptcy. “Win The Future”? W.T.F. is about right.

And when Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan presented a plan for fiscal reform, what was Obama’s response? He demonized the voices of responsibility with class warfare and with fearmongering. And I say personally to our president: Hey, parent to parent, Barack Obama, for shame for you to suggest that the heart of the commonsense conservative movement would do anything to harm our esteemed elders, to harm our children with Down syndrome, to harm those most in need. No, see, in our book, you prioritize appropriately and those who need the help will get the help. The only way we do that is to be wise and prudent and to budget according to the right priorities.

Now, our president isn’t leading, he’s punting on this debt crisis. The only future Barack Obama is trying to win is his own re-election! He’s willing to mortgage your children’s future to ensure his own. And that is not the audacity of hope. That’s cynicism!

http://conservatives4palin.com/2011/04/governor-palin-video-and-transcript-of-the-tax-day-tea-party-speech-in-madison-wisconsin.html

unseen on April 18, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Kini on April 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM

Beat me to it. Strother Martin, FTW!

Also, I can eat 50 eggs.

Freelancer on April 18, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Wow. It’s a fine line between “nerves of steel” and “blissful ignorance”, but I’m not going to call the guy stupid — we don’t know if/when he got a warning, so he might have had no choice but to ride it out.

At about 1:27, just after the funnel passes, there’s a few electrical flashes in the guy’s side mirror. Very cool looking.

Splashman on April 18, 2011 at 4:51 PM

The guy is damn lucky. Something hit his truck, he said it was messed up, a place of roofing material or something.

He’s lucky it didn’t come through the windshield.

This isn’t courageous or ballsy, its frickin stupid – not to mention the fact he had time to seek shelter. He didn’t even duck down inside the vehicle when stuff started hitting it!

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Splashman on April 18, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Yeah. In the headlines I saw those flashes, thinking it was police overheads which made me think he might be a cop which with him just sitting there kinda made a bit more sense, but he’s not alas…

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 4:56 PM

What part of stupid is this guy? Hell, 20 minutes in either direction we had touchdowns (Sanford, Raleigh) and there is no way in hell I was going to go driving around looking for trouble. Geez.

The Opinionator on April 18, 2011 at 4:56 PM

“He wouldn’t be able to get away quickly enough, dragging a two ton set of balls around like that.”

Classic.

rcpjr on April 18, 2011 at 4:32 PM

ROFLMAO. Beautiful!

TheBigOldDog on April 18, 2011 at 4:58 PM

You need to watch more Mythbusters.

Smiles on April 18, 2011 at 4:35 PM

I searched out this info because I remember either seeing a photo or being told of pieces of straw being driven into telephone poles in grade school during our spring tornado drills. It was the year after the 1967 F4 tornado hit the neighboring town of Belvidere, Illinois.

Fallon on April 18, 2011 at 5:01 PM

There are no Atheist in Ford F150′s

jp on April 18, 2011 at 5:01 PM

the Sanford store was about 15 miles from me.

unseen on April 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM

I’m glad you’re safe

Kini on April 18, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Glad you’re safe, too! I live in the piedmont and it got weird there for a brief moment, they saw some rotation over my town, we went into our basement and it passed over us…then hit the rest of the state. We just missed it, I think.

Bee on April 18, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Semper Fi Mac….but you could at least drive a few yards at 90 degrees to the tornado so it doesn’t blow right over ya.

p51d007 on April 18, 2011 at 5:07 PM

For one thing, the narrator here isn’t so stupid as to drive towards the twister, as Cool Hand Luke in the White House is busy doing.

I was thinking it’s more like Phil from Groundhog Day, driving on the train tracks towards an oncoming locomotive and saying: “I’m betting he’s going to swerve.”

Socratease on April 18, 2011 at 5:10 PM

I live about ten miles north of the Lowe’s in Sanford. That was a weird time, a lot of wind and it dumped rain like buckets at my house, flooding my gravel driveway with the amount of water rushing over it — a very rare event — then, in about five minutes, it was all over and the sky was totally clear.

I remember something similar happening in the 1980′s up the road in Raleigh. Instead of a Lowes’ it was a K-Mart, and it was totally destroyed, with even the supporting I-beams twisted. It leaves me to wonder what the Guy upstairs has against department stores. I guess it’s due to Global Swarming.

Aardvark on April 18, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Anyone hear anything about this? Probably not since all systems reacted as designed and no radioactivity was released so the press didn’t go all ballistic. Of course this plant is very close to Williamsburg Virginia and it seems to me that there was some famous person visiting there not too long ago…..

UNUSUAL EVENT DECLARED DUE TO LOSS OF ALL OFFSITE POWER FROM TORNADO DAMAGE

“At 1849 hrs, Surry Power Station (SPS) Unit 1 and Unit 2 experienced an automatic Reactor Trip from a Loss of Offsite Power, as a result of a tornado touching down in the station’s switchyard. Unit 1 reactor tripped as a result of a Loss of Coolant Flow > P-8 (35% power), and the Unit 2 reactor tripped as a result of a 500 kV Leads Differential Turbine-Generator trip. Both units responded as designed.

“Unit 1 electrical power is being provided by Number 1 Emergency Diesel Generator (EDG) to the 1H emergency bus, with the Station Blackout (SBO) diesel loaded on to the 1J emergency bus. Unit 2 electrical power is being supplied by the number 2 EDG to the 2H emergency bus, with the number 3 EDG loaded on to the 2J emergency bus.

“All Unit 1 control rods inserted on the reactor trip, and all Unit 2 control rods inserted on its respective reactor trip. The Low Level Intake Structure (LLIS) is without power. All three Emergency Service Water Pumps are running to supply the intake canal. Efforts are underway to restore Bus 7, which will give each unit an emergency bus powered by offsite power (Unit 1 1J, Unit 2 2H) and restore power to the LLIS.

“Decay heat is being removed by auxiliary feedwater on both units and atmospheric steam release via the steam generator PORVs. Both units are currently on natural circulation. All other system parameters are normal and stable.

“At 1855 hrs a NOUE was declared due to a loss of offsite power (applicable to U1 and U2). Additionally, due to an estimated 100 gallon fuel oil spill from an above ground storage tank near the station’s garage, the Virginia State Department of Environmental Quality was notified at 2041 and the Surry County Local Emergency Planning Coordinator was notified at 2114. At 2334, the Virginia State Department of Environmental Quality was notified and the Surry County Local Emergency Planning Coordinator was notified at 2336, due to an estimated 200 gallon oil leak to the ground from a station switchyard transformer damaged during the tornado.

“The NRC Resident Inspector has been notified and is on-site.”

Notified DHS (Rickerson), FEMA (Boscoe), DOE (Turner), HHS (Hoskins), and USDA (Russell).

See related EN #46762

Oldnuke on April 18, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Tornado missed my house by 1/4 mile.

Looking back I guess the weatherman really was as scared as he looked on TV.

Ortzinator on April 18, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Ok, really? REALLY? Did he just sit there chatting on the phone while that was happening? That’s not Jesus that is grade A ganja going on. Dude is crazy stupid , suicidal or both.

BrideOfRove on April 18, 2011 at 5:36 PM

BTW I live in Fayetteville just inside the city limits, a stone’s throw away from Simmons Airfield.

Ortzinator on April 18, 2011 at 5:36 PM

I live two miles from where the tornado hit in that video. We were very fortunate that it didn’t do any more damage than it did. The building with the red roof is a local ABC store.

GT on April 18, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Obama will NOT be visiting his fellow Americans. Because it is likely that nobody in this region will vote for him in 2012.

In fact, it’s very likely that NOBODY will vote for him in 2012, so I nominate Obama to man up, and step down. Now.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Can’t believe it didn’t kill more people than it did.

Especially when it rolled right over a crowded I-95 …on a SATURDAY no less.

And multi-vortex tornadoes are almost unheard of in this part of the country.

I doubt we’ll ever see such ideal conditions like this again for quite awhile.

The Ugly American on April 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM

OK. They’re taking the whole Built Ford Tough to a little bit of an extreme.

They’re idiots if they don’t somehow incorporate this into a truck commercial.

MNHawk on April 18, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Ok…I had an “ohF@#K” moment watching that….

I’m in North Raleigh, right on the line with Wake Forest, and when that weather hit here, I was in my bathtub with 2 comforters, my laptop, cell phone, home phone and about a half dozen other things I “couldn’t live without”. It was scary as hell. I’ve never been frightened by weather before – even during Hurricane Fran. But that shite scared me stupid!

Someone described the one that hit the KMart in Raleigh back in 87… I was away at Appalachian State University at the time, but my Dad was taking family by that area at Thanksgiving to show them the devastation. Luckily, it missed us then too.

My heart goes out to those that were affected.

tickleddragon on April 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Can’t believe it didn’t kill more people than it did.

Especially when it rolled right over a crowded I-95 …on a SATURDAY no less.

And multi-vortex tornadoes are almost unheard of in this part of the country.

I doubt we’ll ever see such ideal conditions like this again for quite awhile.

The Ugly American on April 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM

I heard today that the conditions may not be out of the realm of possibility for us here for a while. Can happen again. Let’s hope not.

My aunt and grandmother were going North on I-95 at the time of the storms, heading to Emporia, Va. Luckily, they were about 45 mins ahead of it. It hit Roanoke Rapids (20 miles away), but not Emporia. And they didn’t even know what was going on. Weren’t listening to the radio. Scary.

tickleddragon on April 18, 2011 at 7:06 PM

He shouldn’t show that video to his insurance company. They should be screaming, “WHY SHOULD WE PAY YOU A CENT WHEN YOU SHOULD HAVE DRIVEN AWAY!”

shick on April 18, 2011 at 7:58 PM

I heard today that the conditions may not be out of the realm of possibility for us here for a while. Can happen again. Let’s hope not.
tickleddragon on April 18, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I heard that just a few minutes ago, as well. Really frightening stuff. We felt pretty lucky to have not gotten any of it but a single spotting just below us some dreaded overhead “circulation.” :)

Glad to know your family is OK!

Bee on April 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM

below us AND some dreaded overhead “circulation.” :)

Bee on April 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Fixed.

Bee on April 18, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Glad to know your family is OK!

Bee on April 18, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Thanks very much, Bee! Glad y’all are ok too!

tickleddragon on April 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I’ve heard stories of straws going through fenceposts.

Count to 10 on April 18, 2011 at 4:32 PM

You need to watch more Mythbusters.

Smiles on April 18, 2011 at 4:35 PM

I grew up in tornado country in central Illinois, and I’ve seen a 2×6 impaled by a piece of straw. Now, maybe somebody figured out how to fake that in the ’50s, but I’m damned if I can figure out how.

Nature bats last.

warbaby on April 18, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Live News Feed,from North Carolina’s Tornado,
and the coverage,lasted for over nine(9)hours,
narrating with Dual Doppler Radar(5000),and ongoing
walk-through,this type of Radar,updates by the minute!
======================================================

Live News Feed From Disaster Area In North Carolina
Posted on April 16, 2011
*************************
(Video 09:53:02)

http://www.hamwx.com/?p=4414

canopfor on April 19, 2011 at 4:05 AM

Quoting Ron White: “It’s not THAT the wind is blowin’…..it’s WHAT the wind is blowin’!”

Good lord, man – drive somewhere safer. Glad you are ok.

Huckabye-Romney on April 19, 2011 at 7:25 AM