Thank you for listening to tornado tock we have a special opportunity for you while it lasts give and AM FM emergency weather radio for just 45 dollars that's 50% often includes delivery plus two freak tornado talk uzis this special deal is for you only at tornado talk dot com look for online ad tornado talk dot com. Asked about one of nature's most fascinating phenomenon to share your tornado story with us by email Jenin Dan at tornado talk dot com. Yeah and can advance tornadoes doc dot com he. Now meteorologist. Jennifer near Moore and Dan Holliday tornado touched is on a tornado that was so big it was hard to tell exactly what it was from a distance. I don't miss the you know and found this ends well never forget is not really known how big this thing really is. A community scrambled for shelter their lives suddenly in danger. We we're real lucky and whomever started that every bit of a direct hit a some lose nearly everything than you are coming out on the basement. And I and it looked totally ready to eat some he didn't look over there it's pretty poor play here is totally gone. And there were people helping people with a miraculous story of survival there were a ton of people that ended up saving my life in the end weighs a little bit of greed and small and I mean I mean this sincerely. This is tornado talk. What happened in Wayne and and then outbreak of tornadoes in early October 2013. Units across eastern Nebraska and northwestern Iowa. There were five tornadoes rated EF two and two classified as EF 41 of those in northwestern Iowa the other in a hardest hit. Wayne Nebraska on October 4 of that year. Fifteen people were hurt. It was the first EF four tornado in Nebraska since 2004. Alex sheets isn't teaching assistant at Texas Tech University Alex a storm chasing on Thursday October 3 2013. Gulf moisture with streaming into the plains ahead of a classic clash of the seasons. There is a little bit of a risk and well liked here region which is where I'm from New Orleans school. Like chase said they're a little bit and actually saw two tornadoes that night there is like after the common man and stuff there is near Hickman area it was a hard percentage to your wrist kind of piecing the end. I thought those are good ripped before by the day before the day tablet saying. Particularly they're just he what happened and actually saw a pretty good yourself. Brian Smith is the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Omaha he described the contrast in weather systems they've created a perfect severe storms set up on the next day October 4 2013. You know there will pay you pretty darn good cycle that was coming out of into the plains states we created the no blizzard like conditions out in the panhandle of Nebraska Maria have severe weather he's switch. Sometimes happened fund especially in those fall to early winter type storm. We're going to severe weather really he's just southeast part and wonder whether or the west. But. Warm front was moving northward drift into northeast Nebraska. James Wilson worked set an engineering company Kansas City where he designs power plants in his downtime he chases storms. James and his team decided to head north into Nebraska on that early October day in 2013. Because the outlook from the storm predictions on her looks favorable. Did you see it issued a moderate risk and today it's 10%. Patch for tornadoes. In basically. Snorkel western Iowa so sad day we added NM yes. It's got a complicated stuff look bad but we expected it to clear. We expect to warming so we decided there had about 29 port city city's ever gone along there. Zulu irregularly figure to go towards the triple point and don't really want in October tornado which I hadn't gotten to force that was my main motivation is. Is army it was a very odd days a tiny forest we had a lot of obstacles to overcome. And end at the end we get on the tornado perfect timing but Ed Gordon I'm 29 Billiton. Are fired. Which block and 29 northbound completely so yeah. We were there probably at least thirty minutes and winning an indicator that out let meg trying to get kind of bill look at stuff a little bit more time and I noticed that the and instability girl filed everything looked looked really good and north eastern Nebraska. And I noticed that there was a boat and in the cold front and so the idea and getting this a triple points to just that Boehner that they let the other stormed their senate fire right on that probably a list. But at that late so we finally got through so. An ad or heading kind of northwest. Scores a general wage is a very area. Storms started fire right up where we expect that it is and we saw this one salaries like you know that prime minister rob Burnett but I outlined so we're really started. Trying to halt to get there and adjust as we get close to it we didn't. Met up with day out flag man. There was construction of low that completely closed again. Yeah and there was no way to get off the highway that what do we weren't here the very first car so we waited what seemed like forever. We're a pilot card and finally common adverse it nearly has seen this storm in the distance but there's hills we can't be that base and it goes tornado learned a new report the tornado wording on the ground they really agonizing moment there the way that a pilot hardest I don't wanna miles an hour to get a ground the flag and the construction. But it once again the timing and at the end perfect because. We want to dating scene a little bit and then started getting wet molten carbonate hill barely get the multi vortex beginning of the land now because I watched ever minute meeting end the lessons of El Reno into my head that was all pressure somebody's mind and just been a few months earlier and they in this large area Hillenbrand are standing out like let and let turnarounds go back to the highway and you don't pay for road they obviously muddy roads and just. Hope this thing you know goes in front of us so we did that. And end up that the tornado. Instead of going northeaster going a little more north northeast. So China has stayed on for a long fifteenth for quite awhile so it. We went up beside it you are watching this ghost train. This jet is just incredible. And we're probably. Maybe a quarter mile half mile from the roughly I don't know exactly who might have been a little bit closer but we're watching it come right behind the house. Luckily didn't hit it the fifth coach finished my Indiana might become Tor doesn't like to turn around turn on turn rounds. And we get turned around this time but the wind it is pretty good and I'm guessing they were probably. 75 mile an hour wind may be hundred news it was pretty intensely and and I was worried we're gonna lose no windows or something like that. Actually went chaser can't look at it and a loser and I believe the rear window. Today it picked up debris I rock or something in and hit the windows. So we watched the tornado from they're going to turn around and and given me here in the passenger navigator beat. A better view of the tornado holiday what do Gelman you can really see how big it was getting. And then it's still had to formed and it hadn't got its largest expand and it hadn't guys where. We were so low that you really couldn't see her make up the tornado itself at this point. So we turn background headed north and and we watched it crossroad front left and at this point it's a large you can even help this whole thing is that tornado. You know it's getting ready rabbits going on but it still has that this is just didn't go straight in the white streak blondes the bottom of it. Right at ground level. In a blogs gets out erode after tracking the Wayne Nebraska tornado he and it drew the Storm Chasers coined the term ghost train. Much like James Wilson he describes it quotes a focused set of wind in mess with an Amir flanking downdraft unquote. He continues to say that given its size in motion and the moving wall of a mess looked like a freight train ham quotes a ghostly gray freight train I'm quotes. Brian Smith at the National Weather Service in Omaha was on duty that day and watching the severe weather run full. Several super sofa devolved some live developed up to the northwest of wave it. And those produce brief tornadoes. There was also another super solar prove herself feel from Thurston County which also produced tornadoes remember women to northwest style. Sultry South Dakota vote but windstorm and the gold forever quickly. Tornado started and actually. Premiere of the standard county Wayne county border there remove north peace. We came very wide pretty quickly. MM across Nebraska highway fifteen break words crossing entertainment stricker quite a bit that some homeless. Half way in. For men moved into the industrial area for me side or you weren't sure merely warehouse buildings. We. Starting curry damage act at that point. There was a couple how's it look like maybe around EF three damage or somebody let you know what an option foundations or anything but it was a tank. Propane tanks sitting there. That was punctured. There's some other changes coming up it would try to get out of there her own safety generally know what what happened about ten win or it would even though I wanna be around. So we continued on and away and by the end the tornado had gone through the town. And luckily it is just skirted. To they're southeastern town. They continued northeast flew in quite some time moon and virtually dissipated but it. The worst Jerusalem about the Irish fifteen to about beer poured through roofs stronger expo Booth. The damage that we saw. There was concern man who was going to have to. Warning its self harm I have been. The fall and with the emergency manager. Here Wayne county. Telling him that post tornado you may hit point and you have spotters or Rio look. And the warning will allow home we're out of time programs for the count me improve ways. Itself. Luckily you. Boots on her Harlem town did not appear to have removed manually. Few. Homeless. The I'm highly fifteen men yourself further go through annoying. We've got hit bad. Him I'm. The expression you have good industrial park carrier. Really bad. For him near port. Next to the airport is where Jim and sandy Hoffman land. For six years married couple lived in Marty Iowa just two weeks earlier they decided to relocate an accent to John taking care and maintenance for the Wayne municipal airport. He has to do and turning and only I'm thirty in the afternoon when he's out. Looked down the team that knocked onto others remand in my mind standing. Entered and there's a tornado down. I'm miles copy. Winning and yeah the radio and only. And in the house those two and a young woman working and I terminal over here. I don't we were about a week away from moving in the near term loan a tornado yet Clinton's momentum blower all the litter. We told them about tornado on listed indeed I'm will is that there. And it won't matter he can go behind and we came on into the house went in the basement and we weren't down there. Probably two minutes 100 you don't end and it took. How hard. I'm all there. Two rows of slot and above ground. And it's time to be called Lowe's as soon and it's. One of those slots in the air and online and twelve stitches. And listen to cut the bone. And we earned a maligned dependent on your little line and just like families on the house did together right. Annoys me when you when that tornado coming your hear that loud and wrinkling and and we yet not hear that and I'll. I can see the windows. You're and a stairway that it was lightning and tender and and I just felt like I needed to get closer to GM's so therefore I went. Overran Hewitt Kuerten in a recliner. I just kind of knelt alongside of him enrolled over the arm chair and pulled quilt over me and anyway I had to lament that they're both all the windows than our house because that just sounds like every single window shattered. I don't know what does that baton keep that they're both our house and we had sky above us despite that we couldn't get out of the abatement. Gaps because. It was just like somebody's stirred everything up in the basement and though he declined on who we are on the chair and stepped up on the ground in and helped me out my concern was to get him to the hospital. We never really looked around to see what we know lock. I just wanted to get into hot battle and so you know we get blocked the road to share to contempt there. They never ever get trying to light the stove. Refrigerator. Washer dryer. The tub. Any of our furniture we found at bat one recliner and the only piece of furniture that we found. And Sandy's husband Jim remembers every detail of the tornado's wrath there were trees in the basement. But the airport maintenance job he moved to Wayne Nebraska four was about to drastically change. And turn coming up on the basement. And learned and look over the right eat some. Totally gone and looked just like are on the tarmac out there. Looking around and also a new terminal down. Long literally anybody and there and in those meridian mess around here inland. We went over to check on the two gentlemen that was in the term loan. And they came on and they were our right to eat when I'm at a terrible sore back and get it but not anything unity and go to the doctor or. Went over to check on mine vehicle with children one on the other drainers. And the wall opponent so. It was totally dog. Near record is right next to highway thirty and so we want to congratulate him. And get hell from there I guess. They call an ambulance. In the community and little time there and we're responding. The sheriffs standing. Up and up to a hospital. And that's kind of where I had spent probably another two hours. And then stitched up. And not. And David my son overnight. Van and took him back out here Saturday afternoon or Saturday morning. And concerning the league what I look like here then I don't know all the buildings being able. I get loose and just start clean up at that point. I crawl into the tractor and we start to move up from everywhere that we created. Trying yet. China have played organized again looking around the John Deere dealership. Israeli cultural problems they were totally lying down. There are many I don't look at the post which reload pillow mattress factory they were totally wiped out. The I'm storage units. Gone. All the equipment around long. The tracker that we had here was really Chernin insist John Deere tractor with loader. It was picked up taken out into the beat the field not quite a quarter a mile away and never get to go over that not only taken up. And I don't know how they're broke all the laughs out of that. Brett out of the country totaled. We lost. Fifteen playing James Wilson and is chased team made their way past the way municipal airport witnessing the damage that had just occurred from a tornado that was on the ground. For nearly nineteen miles but he was about to come across the most startling sight at all. We went through and saw that there's Jon Baird called mind that evidence gloves thrown up in the air. And then we're coming to town of one of their first chasers get stared. There's a guy and mill road a little their blood armies fight in it down do we go until I'm and stop and he had been as friendly than it did she badly. Heard Alex she too had been storm chasing the day before was out again on Friday October 4 2013. Sub par and come into that much devastation and everything we decided just to get out and help than anything here because really because it was just a small town in Nebraska. It was also a college town there's college swing state colleges there but luckily it does colleges self and on the north side of town heard not directly impacted by the tornado itself. But there is a lot of dust in in that town that didn't get ahead and then cleared her entry the highway there. Some people came around from out of the ditch and laid down there and there's two people in the dishes are sheltered because they couldn't get into the building and time. One of the men who badly needed help was John Danang. He's a chief information officer for Wayne State College that October day started just like any other for John it was business as usual. I was in Chicago that morning actually look a number of our colleagues we were you working on strategic planning and state. At a retreat. And that we had news of a bad weather coming into town that day and so we were sort of taking precautions. Ironically. I'm part of my role is risk management so but we had done on a bunch of work on some Tom strategic planning documents and so I can I'm just gonna mail respect campus speakers include urine into bad let me be really bad idea feel on the police this news is on my laptop so. We sort of got the documents distributed in and we all went to the airport and landed into city. I learn a lot of up for a period screws in the afternoon. And time I had driven in two the airport alone because I I come in from Minneapolis. Sky at the beginning of the trip and everybody else would come from Wayne but I'm good friend of mine Mike Lee Anderson our vice president for academic careers night. Now what sort of first up playing her luggage came off Lou popped free. Luggage carousel and I says Mike you know you're right back with the ease the church so only told everybody knew going in and we jumped to Mexico opened. And to cook. And we get a call when we were about twelve miles out from his wife who works at Wayne State. Seeing that a tornado had been spotted south of Tehran in and we were putting students and sheltered. And so that. The problem that Mike and I pay tribute is that they you know the president of an institution is in the car behind this most of our next president are behind disk. There's very few executives on campus because we will all look this. Strategic planning and exercise. So you know we have our public relations officer and a couple other people in in key leadership positions. While the campus is going through. Tornado lockdown. So. You know I Florida and pulled my wife and end so you know get the dog in the basement working head to campus. And so. Mike and I drove into town in and we crested the Middle East at ten known end look Tim Lincecum in that creek valley. So we looked down into account and it was very clearly Sheila thunderstorm going through either group really foggy and most of close. But no tornadoes so we. Come downhill and also insert strain and I threw my windshield wipers on and then a church to hail and in the wind picks up really significantly and then the Rangers becomes torrential to a point I can't see anything really. And so I slowdown is guaranteed I knew at that point something was going on this was not. This was a really strong thunderstorms that are coming up so quickly. And so we're driving across a bridge on the creek. Time on the way into town. And we are seeing peace. As a building flying across the road in front of us in my church yelling we got to get out of here and extra mile back I know. And and make clear the bridge and drive. Often rode into the ditch and the windows with a truck exploded in Carmichael bailed out. And I followed my seat belt a little bit and I bailed out. You know and the next thing I know Michael standing over me sing don't move helps on the way which is stern sort of the clean version of what he says that's not too and that's not verbatim. And I said I thought to myself well I'm not hurt but I am consciously be sold just lay here Michael ramp out of the ditch. And that tried to get ahold of anybody consider. Cellphones were not working very well. Couple Storm Chasers passed by and then he another shouldn't chase and keen sheer adrenaline can't stop by and James Wilson and his crew. And they stops in they had some they had some emergency management experience and so they don't cellphones finally got to the hospital which. We were. A mile and happily front end the ambulance drivers can now. From the hospital and it's interesting to listen to their story they were so disoriented because none of glimmer of truth there. Airport was gone. The huge farm implement dealership across the road was just in tatters and so they have. Literally had just Flag Day and you extremist onto her we were and they got me into the hospital the next thing I remembered in sequence. Is. Being in a hospital room in you know into there was a whole series of hallucinations. That didn't blasted while I was in a coma but boo boo nuts and bolts of it was that I spent about making d.s and icu. After that and was in a coma for twelve of those days. In Canada. I think 36 surgical procedures in those nineteen days. There was a block of time from the moment John jumps out of the truck until he sees Michael stand over him. The John does a remember John fills us in on what he's been told by Michael and others. Now when I jumped out of the truck I should have been. When you look at this logistically I should have been west of Michael in a little further up in the ditch because I was on the current recession and some passenger side. What we think happened is I jumped out of the truck and got caught up in some are born fencing. Got drug about 2030 yards to the gear deposited right behind Michael on just north and hand down in the ditch. You know and as he tells the story Jeanne moos hunkered down in the grass and this bleeding edge of the tornado passed over loose. CND. He he remembers looking up through the Middle East room to see blue sky in the air being sucked out of his long sit in that no pressures on. And then he heard this. Really loud banging noise and looked up to ditch across the road and there was an industrial dumpsters being balanced along the road. Such as way he monkey rolls out of the way. Found the dumpster passes by the feeling as strong passes by and he gets up to look for meets. By world truck and adapt. Thought we were still rolling when it when we bailed out and you can't find meaning where he goes back to where she was and I was directly behind him in the dumpster and landed on on my legs my facts. And and had been picked up again thank goodness and deposited. Further north. Had a fabulous. Medical care into city just I needed to. I'm general surgery obviously. I needed neurosurgery and needed or so I needed plastic. You know and so who we had just some of the best surgeons in turn out in northeast Nebraska in each of those disciplines happened to be on call that night. So we had just fabulous surgical care and fabulous nursing care at two at mercy and into city. And then we started looking around well my wife was doing all of this actually because my wife and my mom we're taking care of things to be honest I was pretty unfit for about six weeks. So there working with the trying to figure out where we can truly go to patient care. And Madonna rehabilitation hospital in in Lincoln and but when it was one of the choices and I had actually been to Madonna several years earlier on business looking at some IQ so that the that they were doing. So I was familiar with it and I missed a weak enough that my wife could ask me or not and that's where I wanted to go. Warm rehabilitation and so I did that end. That's where we ended up going. About three weeks later he and I spent about three months of Madonna doing re. Now to John said he sustain it compounds hit fed fracture that tore through the front of his show and he had a broken left femur a couple of pieces of blood embedded in his right lag suffered a severed right art Arenas under arm. A partially torn right radial nerve from a broken vertebrae broken ribs can test and a skull fracture and a punctured lung. It was a series of life threatening injuries that shows the strength of flying tornado debris we. And I think significantly for the town of lean. Nobody else was severely injured in that storm would truce which was pretty miraculously. It was about fifteen million dollars worth of property damage. Did exactly that you people not try and did exactly what you're supposed to do and there's a tornado bearing down on I'm. Mainstay in the truck which I would have done until they've got out Ed got in the ditch and then did the right bank and yet. Some debris got drawn by the tornado just landed right on John. Today James Wilson and John Dunning are well acquainted. They've become FaceBook friends and James likes to check in to see how John's feeling keep either Greek guy there were. I mean that there were a ton of people that ended up saving my life own. In in ways stop greed and small and I mean I mean that sincerely we had. But people are cared for dogs and people to care for Allison and people that you know my team work it took a communal. Being a person short. And I mean never sincerely don't mind when you have those kinds of people investing. Decks and a lot of and energy into pop into helping you I think techniques I think it makes a real and substantive difference. In your ability to recover. Now whether you're. Directly aware of that or not. You know and so I mean that I think in the thousands of people that that really helped save my life you know and of course the folks of Madonna that that helped me figure out a living again which is a whole story into itself but but you know the first two people that were in that role of helping save my life was of course Michael Anderson who had he not been in the truck Whitney I would not be here. And and James Wilson Khan and his team Ku are Ku had the courage to stop then and lose their tornado footage and you know that's no that's coin of the realm for Storm Chasers is is the content that they get when they're not chasing. You know and and they were willing to stop gun chasing up pretty good storm. To help somebody out and so I'm not I'm the beneficiary of that in nineteen reasons. And those that suffer the most on October 4 2013. It counted the same conclusion and sandy Hoffman had only been a resident of Wayne Nebraska for two weeks. Sheen her husband jams say they will never forget the outpouring of support it's received by those who barely knew them we have. Have pork can and I know my bill one Cotter Shia militia that. Mom you have to prove you know like home even now you don't have a house to Lebanon. I think he had yet because we didn't have so many church people that came out and helped. I know we had people that came to you Chris we were staying on Derrick brown and you know why they lived here in town and that's where we were staying. And I remember them coming to it how out there and offering us. I'm quilt and towel and nonperishable food items. And I don't doubt it very hard for me to hate. A lot easier to deal than it is your read speeds. And I know they kept saying you know take more take more but that was real hard for me K. Big community was very good to us. You know weird moment here two weeks on them. It felt like home I guess. The community itself. And the tornadoes. Really well from those Clinton spent a lot of people know us that we don't know yet of course that tunnel. It's on opening day in the community. What the tornado blew away is the hardest thing to swallow for the Hoffman's did you read and I had a jewelry box I did find all of migrating except for my mother's. Mothering she had after she had passed away and I got that. I'm other than that. I can bet everything look on. Jim says that things that the tornado did answer below way they are nothing more than a mystery. There's another recliner and it's at about porky and scrambles and after the tornado. There's two men bought and actually came over our head was sitting on the floor. That chair in front of us was picked up. Smell blood sit down. And a recliner it was set right on the number of people we're settlement chair. At the tornado stood we're going to happen. One and thing we have is our 10900. Anger on the hill here. And there is a tool box no matter. And had a top Bachmann bottom box nursebot styrofoam cups. Next to. And there's a little office to the north of that where they were planning. Tool but could not get through that door. After the tornado that tool box look in that office. Top box sitting right beside it. The dough ball we're gone for loyalty to a bunch slow and styrofoam cups was still studying there and it means. Never removed. The walls were all gone tool boxes on. So many things happened. It's just unbelievable. For those that sought shelter in the tornado missed it may have been a close call in Wayne Nebraska. For John Dunning the experience was life changing after a long recovery John and his family were treated to a surprise welcome home parade. Hunter came home between January 10 between fourteen. Learned I am happy. Green is pretty meaningless as pricey I didn't know anything about it. The folks were decked out in the end it was still it was an amazing amount homecoming experience. We just we felt. I think it sure wouldn't talk that this is myself exceptionally blast it is. The town really really really rallied around this kind of beautifully intrusive stuff people's thoughts and and craters into my team up on campus and immersive achieved this community I'm rallied soon. Really the only thing we have to worry about that entire time. Who has recovery and so in my life was by my side and can my mom came down and lived in Omaha earlier than we can. Only this time the entire time and I'm just I'm I'm really firm believer that especially after this experience. And he sort of he's sort of have to go through. Through pilgrimage of sorts. Oh when you go through something like this when you go through trauma. Listening to him. And to greater or lesser extent and there are a bunch of folks and we could have been through this kind of pilgrimage I mean people lost their homes and and people lost their livelihood since it is you know this ceremony heartache that that happens when you have a strong like double true. I'm just actually from the convinced that we on this list. Too low can you mentioned. So. Sorry I get a little took sometime around. So we were we were. Do recipients of that you know you know focused. Intentional away from people it's just absolutely need to. Whether it was the folks at. At mercy to did their jobs just amazingly well for all of the community for doing that Edison sponsored critters and took her from home and consider pork and took care of everything so all we had to do is focus on the recovery. More than 18100 people person cards were. The so extend Madonna who just. Do you miraculously were each and every day and and certainly did so what this what my feelings. It's just it's. Miraculously happen when people and I love each other that way so and so that's been there and it's beautiful part of the story that I can take away. And the airports it looks as it is new in makes Jim Hoffman crown because just ten months after being leveled it was named Nebraska is 2014. Airport of the year. We were able to open up your quarter. Enough. The first part of January. But the runways and got a camper that we use furnace BO often. You know your roku convention in June. And there were totally open for that. So within ten months after the tornado. Seen from the airport was totally open fuel logistically everything all the buildings have been erected. Our house that we love we had that back. Informant after the tornado. Into the dirty home builder and Syrian winging this left about quality. From a storm chaser James Wilson can't erase from his mind what might have happened. If the tornado had more than a mile wide it's taken a direct hit on Wayne or worse a bigger city. Everyone is thankful for what wasn't. And made me think it's this huge media or violent tornado heading towards a wine. And no one was killed. It's just. Pretty amazing for John Dunning he now sees the bigger picture and life where we're pretty good as human beings at the time. When nurse when there is great tragedy. Or when there's great low you were pretty good about being really good human beings. End and I think fulfilling our purpose on and on on this planet. It's hard to stay in touch with when there's not sound the sirens call to do so and that's I think the great challenge my use. How do you continue to stay in touch where it. That's phenomenal purpose. Teaching everyday and so how do you stay connected. With that kind of intentionally. Non right to life so. But I think that's where we're here and a sometimes. You get opportunities like like tornadoes or other tragedies or other kind that that help you. But I refocused on now. Do you have a story about tornadoes you'd like to share let us know when you'll be featured on a future program just email us sit Jenin Dan it tornado talk dot com but that's Jenin Dan a tornado talk dot com. Next on tornado talk there's a debate about the future of storm damage surveys with the ability of mobile radar should that be included in the EF scale. The world's top experts and share their opinions. What to do with the wind on episode 23 of tornadoes.