While most were sheltering indoors as a storm developed in Denison, Iowa, over the Labor Day weekend, a couple of storm chasers traveled 220 miles from their hometown to be in the thick of the forming supercell.
While the father-son team might be accustomed to putting themselves in dangerous situations to report severe weather to the authorities, according to the Omaha World-Herald, what they caught on camera was a far too close for comfort.
Video footage shot by Danny Murphy and his son, Derrick, Sunday showed ominous clouds with flashes of lightning against the eerily colored sky. Then an intense bolt came down blinding the camera for a moment and knocking both of the storm chasers to the ground.
Watch the video:
KWWL-TV reported that Danny was knocked unconscious by the bolt, while Derrick flew from his feet.
“I couldn’t even react,” Derrick told the news station. “It’s just so fast, just a half a second. It looked like a grenade had exploded 20 feet in front of me.”
Then Derrick saw his dad.
“He couldn’t move. He was basically paralyzed,” Derrick told KWWL. “His eyes were glazed over. I thought he was going to die. I thought I just lost my dad. I was on the verge of losing it.”
According to the World-Herald, Danny was taken to a Sioux City hospital where he expected to remain for at least a few days.
“Ever since then, my arms and my neck and chest have been killing me,” Danny told the newspaper, which noted that the pain is due to muscle spasms. “They haven’t been able to get things under control.”
While Derrick’s injuries were minor, he told KWWL he remembers “the electrical feeling in your teeth.”
“It was weird, it was terrible,” he said.
Danny said he and his son don’t intend on quitting their storm chasing hobby, but won’t be getting out of the car from now on.
“Something like this happens, you learn from it. You change your habits,” Danny told the World-Herald.
(H/T: Daily Mail)