Storm chaser Scott Peake drove into a tornado that touched down in Louisville, Miss. Gov. Phil Bryant said during a press conference Monday that the Louisville area was one of the hardest hit by the storm. A major concern is the town's hospital, Winston County Medical Center. The tornado tore down walls and caused gas leaks in the building.
Video filmed from Peake's dashcam offers a too-close-for-comfort perspective of the storm. While it does not appear that the videographer was harmed, the wind and rain intensified as he moved closer to where the "big, big tornado" touched down. At one point, the tornado crosses the road right in front of his view. The surrounding area looks visibly shaken: Trees are stripped of their branches, cars are strewn to the side of the road, and some houses' roofs are dangling from the side.
Peake, who is based in Norman, Okla., records storm videos for a group called Basehunters Chasing. On YouTube, his 4-minute-29-second clip has more than 22,000 views.
If Peake's video is categorized as too close for comfort, the footage from storm chaser Nathan Rohrbough is downright dangerous. Rohrbough rode into a tornado that touched down in Tupelo, Miss.
"The fact that there were not more casualties is just a miracle of God," Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said to The Weather Channel. "We're very fortunate."
Rohrbough is also fortunate that he is alive to tell his tale. The Weston, W. Va.-native drove so far into the tornado that he is barely audible over its roar. It is not his first brush with danger, but YouTube commenters are lambasting the storm chaser over his tactics.
Rohrbough's 5-minute video has been viewed more than 56,000 times. While he escaped injury, the storm did smash three of his truck's windows.
At least 28 people have been reported dead since Monday's storms.