When most would simply run for life in the face of an approaching storm, a Canadian man decided he would mow his lawn, unfazed by a giant twister that swirled past the neighborhood.
Theunis Wessels of Alberta, Canada, was snapped by his wife mowing the lawn at home in Three Hills area with a massive tornado in the backdrop. Reactions to the image, which went viral since it was posted last weekend, have ranged from applause to awe. The Wessels, who hail from South Africa, said they have not seen a tornado before, leaving many to wonder if they know just how damaging they can be. The tornado that appeared within touching distance of the Wessels’ home did not claim lives but damaged some structures. Eyewitnesses described the twister as a huge funnel that sucked up earth and sent it to heaven. Though an alert issued earlier has been lifted, weathermen cautioned against strong winds. Not that it would matter to the Wessels.
“My beast mowing the lawn with a breeze in his hair,” his wife Cecilia captioned the image of her husband’s heroics.
The man refused to go indoors despite his 9-year-old daughter alerting him. The girl later woke her mom, who clicked an image of the twister to show it to folks back home in South Africa.
“We’re originally from South Africa and this is the first time we’ve ever seen a tornado,” he said according to CTV News.
“I was watching all the time to see what it was going to do.”
“I literally took the picture to show my mum and dad in South Africa, ‘Look there’s a tornado,’ and now everyone is like, ‘Why is your husband mowing the lawn?”‘ Cecilia Wessels told CBC News.
The Wessels were not alone in capturing the tornado on camera. Ever since the storm hit, images and videos of the twister have been shared online. Many who sighted it said it left them shaking.
“At first I thought there was a fire because it looked like a whole bunch of smoke.… It started in the fields, and the dirt was just getting taken up, and we watched it get bigger and bigger and go across the highway,” a resident Trina Luoma said.
“I know they can be dangerous, but it was beautiful at the same time.”
Other residents said a tornado was something they have seen for the first time. “We have vicious thunderstorms that go through, but when I looked up from my yard and saw that, it put a new scare into a person. It’s different than anything I’d ever seen,” said another resident Clare Stankievech.
The weather services for the region reportedly lifted the tornado alert but warned residents to watch out for strong winds. There were no reports of injuries but some agricultural buildings were damaged by the twister. The Alberta twister was doing around 50 mph and had the potential for destruction but its path may have saved property in the area. Residents said it headed further north quickly and the skies cleared immediately after.
Interestingly, the eye-catching tornado has also gone up for debate, with some storm chasers saying it was not a real twister. According to Accuweather, some have called it a “Landspout” while others have said the information in the images and videos do not give details about the storm that caused it. It is thus difficult to argue against the tornado theory, they say.
That notwithstanding, for the Wessels the storm was not even a deterrent to put off their day’s to-do things. Theunis, who has rightly earned the sobriquet “Tornado Man,” had finished what he set out do on his lawn.
[Featured Image by kevron2001/Thinkstock]