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Top Video Experiences

Posted on: July 26th, 2011 by Tom McDonald

Tornado moving away from us... Thankfully.

Tornado moving away from us... Thankfully.

Over the last several months, I have shared my Top 5 Video experiences.  Narrowing a fifteen-year career in video into five experiences was not easy.  In fact, there are actually hundreds of memorable moments I could share.  No need to worry, I won’t do that, but there is one more that perhaps should have made the Top 5.

I have now been out of the News business for the past four years and despite loving just about every minute of it, I do not miss it a bit – with one exception.  I miss the news business every time the weather gets really, really nasty!  My favorite days in news were when I went in for my shift and was told to load up and go chase a bad storm.  Covering weather is exciting, scary, frustrating and sometimes down-right dangerous.  On one particular day, all of the above was definitely the case.

Tornado with lightning

Lightning too!

We were told to go to Cedar Point on I-70.  Meteorologist Chris Dunn sent Reporter Heidi Hemmat and myself with great confidence to this particular exit and instructed us to wait.  So that is what we did.  Upon our arrival, we saw a storm way off on the horizon.  It didn’t look too special and it was very far away.  I wasn’t even sure it was moving our way.  “Stay there,” we were told.  It was getting late in the day and frustration was building.  As the storm drew closer, it also started to get nasty.  There was a lot of lighting and suddenly we could vaguely and briefly see a tornado.  It was hard to see, but it was definitely a funnel.  As the storm closed in things began to get weird.  Birds were freaking out and the sky started to change to a dull green.  This was the exciting part!  Other travelers had pulled off the highway by now and things were getting a bit sketchy.  A funnel cloud started to form right above us!  Not good, time to take cover.

There was an underpass and all of us in attendance made our way as quickly as possible (I was later told never to go inside a tunnel during a tornado).   Yes, this was the scary and dangerous part and none of us were feeling too good at the moment.  It didn’t take long for the funnel to pass over us and touch down perfectly in a field on the other side of the highway.  I quickly grabbed my camera and began shooting some of the greatest footage I have ever seen.  It was an exhilarating – almost out-of-body experience – watching this perfect funnel make its way across the field, thankfully traveling away from us.

The tornado would run its course and Heidi and I would drive to a suitable location, edit the footage and do a live shot in the nick of time.  It was an epic day and I was sure to thank Chris Dunn for putting me in such a good position for this unforgettable event. However next time he didn’t need to be quite this accurate!

by Webolutions Digital Marketing Agency