The wrath of winter storms — blizzards in the northeast and tornadoes in the southeast — on Christmas Day have left at least six dead and pictures and footage from these weather events have begun to emerge.
When it comes to video though, falling snow can’t beat the terrifying sights of the tornado that ripped through Mobile, Ala., Tuesday.
A surveillance camera captured the power of the tornado as it tore through a Walgreens parking lot, moving vehicles, blowing out windows and sounding like “a washing machine full of rocks,” according to an employee who heard transformers popping as result Fox 10 TV reported.
Josh Holman was working in the 24-hour store Dec. 25 and was in the stockroom calling his brother for an update when the tornado began to hit. Here’s how Holman described it to Fox 10 TV:
“I’ve never been in a war zone but I’m sure that’s what it looks like,” Holman said.
“It was pretty intense,” he said.
Watch this footage from the Walgreens CCTV camera showing debris whipping around the parking lot and customers inside running to take cover:
This YouTube video shows similar footage, but if you jump to 1:06, you see a side angle of the Walgreen’s entrance that captures the wind and debris coming through and the lightning during the event:
The same storm system startled Bob and Sherry Sims who had just finished eating dinner.
“We heard that very distinct sound, like a freight train,” said Bob Sims. They headed for a center bathroom.
Reporter John Sharp for the Mobile Press-Register wrote a first-hand account of his experience with the Christmas Day tornado:
Sirens had started to sound. I turned on TV, but the signal was disrupted. That’s when the wind began to pick up. Then it roared. I moved myself into my bathroom as I heard a clanging noise, like someone taking a large metal spoon to a stock pot. The power then flickered. Once it went off. Then, back on. Off for good. I did what one was supposed to do, I hunkered into my bath tub with my hands above my head, curled into a fetal position.
That’s when I heard the roar and prayed that my building would not collapse on top of me.
It didn’t. But I knew what I had just heard. It was a tornado. This wasn’t some typical storm.
After about 30 seconds (was it a minute? 45 seconds? I don’t recall) I looked out my window. My car was OK. No damage. Phew!
Visibly, it was like a bomb has gone off at The Loop. A one-way street sign was literally sawed into half. The Dauphin Island Parkway/Airport Boulevard sign was flattened. Power lines were lying on the ground. It was a bit too dangerous to wander around.
According to NBC, 34 tornadoes were reported in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Tuesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.