Alabama meteorologist discovers his home was hit by a tornado live in mid-air, texts woman to hide in place
An Alabama TV weather forecaster who tracked a massive tornado discovered live on the air that his home was in the storm’s direct path and stepped out to text his wife to make sure she made it to shelter.
ABC 33/40 meteorologist James Spann was on Thursday warning residents of Shelby County to take the hideout as deadly twisters ravaged the state.
But he had to walk away when he realized that the storm he was seeing was going directly on his own home and his wife Karen.
As the broadcast switched to a live feed of the tornado, Spann can be heard saying, ‘What I’m doing is texting my wife to make sure she’s at the shelter.’
Reporters in the ABC 33/40 editors managed to contact his wife, who said to them, ‘Oh, it’s a miracle. A huge tree just missed our house! ‘
She added: ‘It’s unbelievable! There is so much damage everywhere. ‘
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Spann confirms to viewers after returning to the broadcast that his home was hit by the storm “the reason I had to get out, we had major damage to my home,” he said.
Spann later shared a photo of his backyard with viewers: “It’s been a rough day. Very hard day. ‘
As the broadcast switched to a live feed from the tornado, Spann can be heard saying, ‘What I’m doing is texting my wife to make sure she’s at the shelter.’ James and Karen Spann are in the picture.
After relaying the broadcast to his colleague, Spann returned and offered viewers an update on his wife and home.
“The reason I had to get out was because we had major damage to my house,” he said. ‘My wife is fine, but the tornado came right through and it’s not good, it’s bad. It’s bad.’
Later in the broadcast, Spann shared a photo of the damage the storm had done to his backyard.
“I’ll shoot right with you, that’s my backyard,” he told viewers. ‘It has been a rough day. Very hard day. ‘
He said his wife was in hiding place and safe.
Spann said that although there was damage to the backyard, his house was intact.
“My wife got the warning, she had a plan, she was at the shelter and she’s fine,” he said.
‘It is clear that our landscape architecture now looks very different. We lost a lot of trees. Obviously we’ve had some damage to the clapboards, but the house is intact, it’s okay. ‘
Spann assured viewers that his wife was safe but that his property had been damaged by the passing storm
The storm caused severe property damage in Greensboro, but Spann said his own home had not been damaged
Alabama meteorologist James Spann switches to a live feed of the storm while texting his wife to make sure she was in shelter
When the Spanns built their home, James had insisted it have a strong storm shelter that could withstand tornadoes, according to ABC 33/40
Spann asked viewers to help those who had suffered severe losses in the storm’s aftermath.
“My question is that you are considering helping those who are homeless tonight who have lost their homes. those who have relatives who have died, who are in the hospital tonight. ‘
A total of eight tornadoes have been confirmed in Alabama, according to the National Weather Service
At least five people died as a result of the storms, including a family of three.
The confirmed deaths were in Calhoun County, in the eastern part of the state, where one of multiple twisters stemmed from a “ super cell ” of storms that later moved into Georgia, said John De Block, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham.
The Storm Prediction Center had issued a tornado for a “ particularly dangerous situation ” Thursday afternoon until 8:00 p.m. CT for about 5.5 million people in parts of Alabama, northwest Georgia, Mississippi, and southern Tennessee.
The advisory is issued when there is high confidence that multiple strong EF-2 tornadoes, which have wind speeds of 111 to 135 mph or higher, will occur in the waiting area.
Spann tweeted, “I was scared today. As I often say, tornadoes happen to real people, in a real place, in real time. ‘
Spann later took to Twitter and offered an update on his home, thanking people for their kindness.
Many thanks to all who contacted me; a tornado has damaged our home today, ‘he tweeted. ‘My wife was home when it hit, but she got the warning, was in our home shelter, and she’s doing fine. Although we have lost many trees, the house is intact and we do not need to ‘rebuild’. ‘
“Please consider helping others in the state who have suffered far more serious damage… some have lost their homes and are homeless tonight. Thanks again for your kindness. ‘read his tweet.