Battered reporter shares his hair-raising experience being ‘picked up and tossed off the road’ by tornado

Powerful storms cut a swath of destruction across several states in the South and Midwest on Friday, leaving devastation in their wake as America’s heartland was pummeled by the savage force of nature that destroyed homes and businesses, tossed vehicles around like toys, knocked out power and left at least ten dead with an untold number of others injured.

One man who is fortunate to have survived the savage weather is Nick Sortor, a reporter who had the misfortune of running across a monster twister while driving in Tennessee that picked up his vehicle and tossed it off the road, leaving him shaken and bloodied, but living to tell the tale which he did with pictures of the aftermath of his near-death experience to Twitter where they have since gone viral.

“I truly believed I was going to die at the moment my car was picked up and tossed off the road by this massive tornado in Tennessee,” he wrote along with images of himself with blood streaming down his face along with his battered vehicle. “I’ll have some videos to post later tonight. Thanks so much again for all your support.”

“I truly appreciate everyone’s words of support. It means more than you know,” he added. “I attempted to post this immediately after the tornado to serve as a dire warning, but I was unable.My Jeep is totaled, but that’s nothing compared to the lives ruined here.”

Sortor also shared video to Twitter of some of the damage done in Little Rock, Arkansas where local media reported around 600 casualties from a tornado, urging anyone potentially in its path to immediately seek shelter.

Video footage surveying the scene in Wynne, Arkansas which was directly in the path of one of the monster tornadoes spawned by the storm looked like scenes from a war zone.

(Video: The Daily Mail)

The tornado that nearly killed Sortor was one of over fifty twisters reported in seven states where millions of residents sheltered under severe weather warnings as the storms ripped through, with some of the most severe damage being experienced in Arkansas, Indiana and Illinois where the storms caused the roof of a theater to collapse during a sold-out heavy metal concert with hundreds of people inside.

The roof collapsed less than an hour into the concert which started at 7 pm and featured the bands Morbid Angel, Revocation, and Skeletal Remains at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Illinois. which is about 75 miles from downtown Chicago.

According to reports, about 260 people were inside at the time, and the capacity of the venue is around 1,500. Multiple people were reportedly rushed to the hospital with injuries ranging from severe to moderate with local media capturing the aftermath of the severe weather incident.

(Video: YouTube/Fox 32 Chicago)

Belvidere police Chief Shane Woody described the scene as first responders arrived.

“Chaos. Absolute chaos,” Chief Woody said. “When officers are first on the scene, when the fire department and first responders get here, they do the best they can to control the chaos as much as possible. But ultimately, we go in, and ultimately try and find people, and save as many people as we possibly can – and bring them to safety as best as we can.”

Numerous video clips of the terrifying tornadoes as well as the sobering scenes on the ground after the storms passed through have been posted to Twitter.

The National Weather Service provides information on tornadoes on its website as well as appropriate safety measures to be taken for those in areas that are threatened by dangerous storms.

(Image: Screengrab/National Weather Service)

(Image: Screengrab/National Weather Service)

(Image: Screengrab/National Weather Service)

(Image: Screengrab/National Weather Service)

(Image: Screengrab/National Weather Service)

“Do not waste time opening windows in an attempt to prevent damage to a building. The old belief that damage could result from rapid pressure changes during a tornado is NOT TRUE. It will not make any difference in a tornado if the window is open or not,” the agency warns. “Your safest course of action is to take shelter immediately when a tornado warning is issued for your area.”

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Chris Donaldson


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