|A still from a video taken by Clem Schultz last year|
of a tornado approaching his house. It would
kill his wife, injury him and destroy his home.
It killed two people, injured a couple dozen and packed winds of up to 200 mph
A man named Clem Schultz, 85, of Fairdale, Illinois knew the tornado was approaching. But he was convinced the tornado would sweep by just to the south or west of his house.
As the tornado approached, he was upstairs in the house retrieving camping lanterns because he and his wife Geri figured the storm would still cut off electricity to the house, says the Chicago Daily Herald.
While he was upstairs, Clem spotted the tornado to the west. He started taking a video of it on his cell phone. You'll see the video at the bottom of this post and it is incredible. And scary.
Early in the video, you get the sense that Clem was right. The tornado seemed ready to pass just to the south of his location.
But it turned, and you see the tornado approaching Clem, then engulfing the neighborhood, then him and the house. The house blew apart, and Clem rode a collapsing chimney down to the ground.
A few minutes after the tornado passed, neighbors dug Clem out of the rubble. Geri had been in the kitchen. She died in the tornado.
After the tornado, Clem moved to a farmhouse in another town. He watches TV, sees something that needs commenting on, and is ready to tell Geri, but she's not there.
His dog Missy survived the tornado, so they watch TV together. Clem was able to retrieve a aftgan Geri had made. It was the last Geri crocheted before the tornado, the Daily Herald reports.
Clem said at first he didn't have the will to watch the video he recorded, but finally did. He then shared it with a meteorology student that had been chasing the storm.
Says the Daily Herald:
"That student included it in his doctorate studies about the internal structure of tornadoes. The rare look from inside has been shared worldwide, and it is due to be shown soon at an international atmospheric science convention in California.
"I'm proud of it," Schultz says. "My video is saving lives."
I'm glad he's able to see the real silver lining in this tragedy. And I hope this video does lead to better undestanding of tornadoes and how to forecast them and how to get people out of danger.
This is the second tragic time of aware of where a person filmed an approaching tornado that would soon kill their spouse.
In March, 2012, a couple sat in their living room in Henryville, Indiana, filming a tornado as it approached. As it got close, they tried to take shelter in a corner of their house, which lacked a basement.
The Indiana tornado tore the house apart, killing the husband and injuring the wife.
Here's Clem Shutz's video from last year in Fairdale, Illinois. Watch it in full screen to really see what's going on. So frightening: