On April 27 2011 a massive Tornado Outbreak spawned a long track tornado that went through Tuscaloosa Alabama. A UPS truck driver saw it coming and rather than drive directly into it, he pulled up underneath an overpass. His truck and adjacent cars were destroyed. Here is his story on site after the tornado. Filmed by Jim Edds of ExtremeStorms.com
It depends on the design of the overpass on whether or not the odds are good for survival.
If you can get up into the girders you'd likely survive.
Kovačević Dobrina (6 months ago)
Despite what they say...if you can get under an overpass DO IT. Laying flat in a ditch will get you killed.
Mustang Fan (5 months ago)
Kovačević Dobrina I agree. Tornadoes scare the hell out of me.
Duke Of_Cleveland_East (8 months ago)
EF4 . It was bad !!! The EF5 north of there in Hackleburg was worse!!! I lived through that one!!! It didn't get much coverage from storm chasers . But it was in the ground for nearly 4 hours and went 138 miles . From the Mississippi line to Franklin TN. Yeah Tuscaloosa got nailed hard . But Hackleburg was leveled !!!
Trent williams (8 months ago)
Tuscaloosa has more people.
Lacy Shanks (9 months ago)
I know a Jimmy Jones lol
zabijca (9 months ago)
Here's amazing photo of the tornado that guy did
Jim Edds (9 months ago)
That is an awesome photo - maybe the only one where someone had the cool sense to shoot after it went right over them. Jimmy, you got nerves of steel.
Seth B (1 year ago)
Bet UPS told that driving never to take shelter under and overpass !!!
charlie saville (10 months ago)
+Jim Edds I'm fascinated with tornadoes. I've seen a lot of the recent year tornadoes on videos and stuff (I live in the UK) and obviously I've watched Joplin, Tuscaloosa etc.
Little did I know just how "nutty" April the 27th was. 4 extremely powerful tornadoes in one day. Some years don't even have one throughout the entire season. I wonder what conditions were so specific to drop sooo many tornadoes and for them to be so powerful too.
I cannot begin to imagine how terrifying that day was either. I've never experienced a storm like that so it feels to surreal to me to think about the reality. Storms literally tearing up a state.
Jim Edds (1 year ago)
it saved his life vs driving into it or stopping on the highway and getting hit. It's a gut call only the person can make in my view because in the end it's your life. If you think it's the best plan then do it. You saw those other vehicles on the highway - some of them had dead people in them. April 27th tornadoes were all over MS & AL as if a giant rake had gone over those states. Every storm that went up, rotated and dropped tornadoes, long track ones too. I've never seen anything like it.
Heather stubbs (3 years ago)
This is where "Use your best judgement" comes in to the situation! I'm so glad he made it through.
Ansley212 (3 years ago)
*I laugh whenever a so called 'expert" says not to use overpasses for shelter.* I remember watching people lay in a ditch because the overpass we were under was full, and even an old man who pulled his van in between the columns and stayed inside it. The people in the ditch were all injured severely afterwards and 2 of them were killed. one of the dead was mangled in a nearby tree with chain link fence around his body.
Every single person under the girders was fine except for one women who was cut by something. The man in the van was totally the only one who didn't get covered in mud, and his van was the only one still drivable.
disturbeddemons1 (8 months ago)
Tri the Doge the thing is here, is the design of the overpass. most are simply bridges with 4 or so columns with the edges of bridge leading right into the ground where they meet. but in this case the design was different, as well as 2 other cases of survival i know in this scenario. instead of the overpass' edges leading into the ground and being exposed in the open where an air tunnel can be created there was a small gapped area with 3 walls and a "ceiling" with the only opening being a 1-3 foot wide slit along the road the overpass intersects. this is built this way so where the overpass connects to the ground is more stable since this area can be easily damaged. so if the overpass is built this way then it is easily one of the best places for shelter due to its concrete reinforced structure and only one area of exposure that like i said is usually between 1-3 feet wide and as long as the bridges width. the problem now is that since most overpass' are not built with this little enclosure type area most people seeking shelter under an overpass are exposed to more powerful winds created by the coanda effect and are therefore in even more danger than if they had lain in a ditch or under their car as is the recommendation. but since there is no way to know before hand and since in most cases the overpass will not provide shelter it usually isn't a good idea to take cover under one.
Tri the Doge (11 months ago)
Ansley212 but if it is necessary then go under the overpass
Tri the Doge (11 months ago)
Ansley212 you have to be joking, an overpass is a tornado's wind tunnel the wind goes way over the winds of the actual tornado