Storm chasers, tornado victim rescue, caught on tape. - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Storm chasers, tornado victim rescue, caught on tape.

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By David Kenney - bio | email

YAZOO COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - On April 24th of this year, an EF-4 tornado tore across central Mississippi, taking ten lives, injuring dozens, and causing a wide path of destruction. This devastating storm was documented by storm chasers who put themselves in harms way, studying tornado's in efforts to give those in their paths, better warning.

One survivor's dramatic rescue was captured on video. Robert Lee Woods of Yazoo City was paralyzed from the waist down from injuries he sustained in the April tornado. He had witnessed the mile wide tornado bearing down his home, and immediately ran to his neighbors trailer, to warn a family of five.

"I barely made it into the living room because the winds of the tornado picked me up and tossed me into their front porch.  I stood up I felt the trailer break from it's tie downs first then it fell back then it tossed it. I was conscious through the whole ordeal till the final impact of the trailer, then I blacked out for 15-20 minutes," says Woods.

At the same time, meteorologists Reed Timmer and Joel Taylor of Tornadovideos.net had followed the tornado into town, and documented in a recent episode of storm chasers on the Discovery channel HD Theater. 

The storm chasers began aiding in the rescue, helping Yazoo city residents climb out of the rubble, and homes destroyed by the twister. Eventually they crossed paths with Robert Lee Woods.

Woods says, "It was surreal I didn't notice my legs were that far wrapped underneath my body, more amazed my legs didn't get broken."

The storm chasers find Robert Woods right where the tornado left him, under a heap of furniture, surrounded by what was left of the trailer he was in.

Woods says, "I remember people talking to me when I saw the video I was able to put the voices and figure out who they were."

The storm chasers were instrumental in bringing medics to the scene. Robert Woods was loaded onto a backboard and then loaded onto a mule, and flew by helicopter to Jackson for medical treatment.

Despite now being bound to a wheel chair, woods is thankful for being able to help his neighbors, and even more grateful for those who helped him.

Woods says, "I thanked Reed and Joel I think it's a bond we formed.  They don't just chase storms they also give scientific knowledge in helping either give more warning or prevent them further down the road. We need those guys out there so we can avert this disaster. If we had another 30 minutes warning we could have got everybody out of here easy."

Woods was recently reunited with the Storm Chasers.  That will be the focus of one of the upcoming episodes of Storm Chasers.

For more exclusive video of the Storm Chasers Yazoo City episode on Discovery, watch the video Storm Chasers:  Why we Chase.

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