“There’s a huge tornado coming!”
Those are the words that Duke Evans heard from his assistant 25 years ago on April 26 as he showered in the country club locker room after hosting a charity golf tournament.
Rather than run for cover, Evans grabbed his new Canon L1 digital video camera and filmed six and a half minutes of a tornado that plowed through Andover, Kan., that day.
His video, considered high-tech for the time, is one of the most iconic tornado videos on record.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
So what do you do when you see a monster tornado bearing down on you?
Lots of people throw caution (and sometimes common sense) to the wind, record it and post it to YouTube. To mark tornado season, we rounded up some of the most dramatic tornado videos filmed through the years.
Major discovery here: When most people come face to face with a twister, they utter the same two little words.
Meteorologists say you can outdrive most tornadoes, which compared with a car are slowpokes that generally move at 25 to 35 miles per hour.
Weather experts caution: Don’t run/drive/move toward a tornado. If you do, well, watch the videos below.
Warning: Strong language ahead.
May, 2013: Smith County, Kan.
Storm chasers Brandon Ivey and Sean Casey shot better-than-Hollywood footage from within a tornado that screamed across the farm fields of Smith County. Winds whipping at speeds up to 175 miles an hour blew open a door on their vehicle and nearly lifted it off the ground.
April 9, 2015: Fairdale, Ill.
Clem Schultz, 85, didn’t think the tornado would hit his tiny rural neighborhood. But before he knew it, the E4 twister was there, on top of his house. And he kept filming it with his cell phone.
When a neighbor pulled him from the rubble of what used to be his home, he got the bad news: Schultz’s wife, Geri, who was in the house with him, had died.
According to The Weather Channel, Schultz’s video is by far the best view that exists of what it’s actually like inside a violent tornado.
May 20, 2013. Moore, Okla.
This man filmed an EF5 tornado bearing down on his house. The twister killed 24 and injured more than 200.
“I hope it misses us. Push it! Push it! Go sideways. That sucker is headed straight for us, I think,” he yells as he films the monster.
April 11, 2015: Rochelle, Ill.
In this video posted on YouTube by Aaron Rooney, a man named “Sam S” — reportedly not a professional storm chaser — was driving on Interstate 39 when a monster tornado roared over his truck. He filmed the chaos on his cell phone.
Do. Not. Try. This. Yourself.
Nov. 16, 2015: Southwest Kansas
Storm chasers shot a 12-minute video showing the supercell that produced a historic outbreak for southwest Kansas, an unprecedented string of tornadoes for late fall. In all, nine tornadoes were confirmed.
March 26, 2015: Moore, Okla.
An electrical crew driving up I-35 shot cell phone video of one of the multiple tornadoes that skipped across the state that day. They watch in horror as the storm pushes over a semi-truck.
Nov. 17, 2013: Washington, Ill.
Sometimes, when you’re staring down a meteorological monster, all you can do is pray, as 21-year-old Anthony Khoury and his parents did while a tornado destroyed homes in their neighborhood.
May 6, 2015: Near Hardy, Neb.
This dramatic video shows a tornado that took out power lines and demolished a farmstead near this town at the Kansas border. It was one of dozens that hit the southern Plains that day.
Nov. 17, 2013: Washington, Ill.
This incredibly dramatic video shot by Marc Wells shows both the tornado and the destruction it causes to his family’s home — and the entire neighborhood. The Wells’ home was destroyed just seconds after they took cover. This one is tough to watch.