Drivers react to Dallas tornado, focus on safety during severe weather

A tornado that touched down just south of Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday hurled several semi trailers hundreds of feet into the air.

Kent Erdahl

8:12 PM CDT, April 3, 2012



A tornado that touched down just south of Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday hurled several semi trailers hundreds of feet into the air.

The stunning sight was captured live on television and broadcast across the country.

"Wow," said Dan Seese, a truck driver from Pennsylvania, who watched the video from the cab of his truck in Indianapolis.

Dave struggled to find words to describe how the tornado seemed to throw trailers around like they were nothing.

"Picking it up like a 2-year-old having a toy tantrum," Seese said. "Just throwing them in the air and, wow."

Seese said he first heard about the tornado from other drivers who were talking on his radio. He said there originally were concerns that the truck stop took a direct hit, but it didn't take long to check on his fellow drivers across the country.

"Luckily, the few that I know are safe so far," Seese said.

Dave Skiba, a driver from Wisconsin, heard about the tornado but hadn't seen the video until we showed him.

"Hope I never have to go through it," Skiba said. "You're just at the mercy of the weather."

Like most who drive professionally, Skiba knows his massive truck is no match for high winds. Even the weakest tornado (EF-0) can send a semi off the road, which is why most drivers often take steps to avoid severe weather.

"I've stopped in Illinois, Central Illinois, and kind of watched a funnel cloud," Skiba said.

"Yeah, I've shut down more than once just for wind," said Glenn Hudson, a driver from North Dakota with more than 40 years experience.

"Occasionally you get high winds traveling up I-65 here," Seese said. "Pull over, let them go by and keep going."

But none of the men who spoke to Fox59 said they have ever faced anything like what happened near Dallas.

"You wonder what would you do in a situation like that, Where would you go?" Skiba said. "I don't know what I would do."

"I feel like I'm lucky I'm not there. If I was there I wouldn't know what to do," Seese said. "I'd probably start screaming like a little girl."

"It'd be pretty darn scary," Hudson said. "You sure wouldn't want to be in one of those trucks. That's for sure."

Whether you are driving a semi or driving a car, meteorologists say you should never try to outrun a tornado. If you see one heading your way, the best advice is to get out of you vehicle and lie down in the lowest area you can find, such as a ditch.