What’s it like to be inside a tornado as it’s forming? Few people, if any, have experienced such a sensation, but Reed Timmer is now one who has — and lived to talk about it after an extraordinary up-close encounter with a tornado on Friday evening.
Timmer started off on Friday with the goal of intercepting a tornado in his Dominator 3 vehicle, and by 6 p.m. CDT, he was staring a tornado in the face just west of McCook, Nebraska.
“I was unable to get back to the vehicle and couldn’t see it, so I just turned my back to the wind and hoped for the best until it passed,” Timmer said.
A wall of dust and debris kicked up by the tornado that landed on Reed Timmer on Friday afternoon near McCook, Nebraska.
As the twister bore down, Timmer could barely see more than a few feet away due to the amount of dirt, dust and debris whipping around. Amid the whirlwind, Timmer’s hat went flying off his head and became part of the tornado.
“[I] just intercepted the tornado on foot,” Timmer yelled after the twister had passed overhead.
Timmer was left covered in dirt, as well as the inside of his Dominator 3 vehicle, as the doors were left open as the tornado blew through.
A photo of a dirt-covered Reed Timmer after he was hit by a tornado on Friday afternoon west of McCook, Nebraska.
This was one of the biggest days for severe weather in the central U.S. so far this year, and Mother Nature shows no signs of stopping.
“Tornado Alley is certainly waking up with significant severe weather,” Timmer said on Thursday while commenting on the impending outbreak of storms. Little did he know, a tornado was going to wake up right on him.