When he witnessed a tornado with a mile-wide path slam into a tiny hamlet, a Mississippi meteorologist reportedly started to pray in this critical moment.
Just before 11 p.m. on Friday, WTVA’s Matt Laubhan of Tupelo became upset while covering the tornado that was barreling directly into Amory, 100 miles west of Birmingham.
‘Here’s the thing about this, y’all trust me too much,’ he said on the newscast. ‘I tell you where it’s going to go and some of you guys are like: “That’s where it’s gonna go.” The reality of this, this could be changing direction. So, Amory, we need to be in our safe place.’
WATCH: WTVA meteorologist Matt Laubhan overwhelmed as major tornado hits Amory, Mississippi pic.twitter.com/JDd8n46X31Ads— BNO News Live (@BNODesk) March 25, 2023
The Kansas-born meteorologist barely looked up at the camera as he kept a close eye on the radar. When a ‘new scan’ came into the news station, Laubhan, a father-of-two, turned more distressed as he leaned down on the table for support.
‘Oh man, North side of Amory, this is coming in’ he said. ‘Oh, man. Dear Jesus, please help them. Amen.’
The tornado claimed the lives of 23 individuals around the state, including numerous residents of Monroe County, where Amory is located, including a father and his daughter who were seeking safety at home. His wife and two other kids lived, but they were hospitalized.
‘The damage is tremendous,’ Sharkey County Coroner Angelia Eason told NBC News. ‘It’s awful.’
‘I’ve never seen anything like this,’ Brandy Showah told CNN. ‘This was a very great small town, and now it’s gone.’
According to PowerOutage.us, the storms caused power outages for more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee as of 5.45 am ET, with more than 70,000 outages recorded in Tennessee alone.
‘You are in a life-threatening situation,’ it warned. ‘Flying debris may be deadly to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be destroyed. Considerable damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles is likely and complete destruction is possible.’
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