Harrison tornado captured on video surveillance - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Harrison tornado captured on video surveillance

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB)- One of the hardest hit areas in Hamilton County is Harrison. We are getting an incredible up close look at the tornado that ripped through there, captured on a home security video.

Stories of survival continue to pour out of the Harrison area. An EF-3 tornado touched down, wiping away homes, snapping trees in an instant.

After seeing the strength of the storm on video, it is amazing people lived through it.

The fury of Friday's tornado keeps playing through the minds of those who lived through it.

Jeff Hightower and his wife Linda took cover in their utility room as the storm blew right over their house on Davis Mill Road.

"And I got up and looked out the window and I said, 'Well, we've lost a tree.' And when I came outside I saw we'd lost a lot more than a tree. But we're blessed. We're all alive," says Linda.

"I just can't understand why it's still standing. All we lost was a roof. A lot of other people, in real homes, lost their whole home," says Jeff.

Just down the road, Bill McPherson and a friend saw the storm rolling in.

"We decided to walk down to the lake to get a better view, which probably wasn't the wisest thing to do," he says.

Video surveillance on MchPherson's property captured the tornado from four angles as it hit Short Tail Springs Road.

McPherson took off running as soon as he realized the monster storm was churning toward him and his house.

"They happened to be rolling and happened to have a battery back up, so they kept rolling after the storm too."

The view of his front yard went from untouched to scarred in a matter of seconds. Trees were falling and debris was flying.

"Maybe got ten steps, I could hear that dreaded noise of the freight train, which I've never heard before. Just a wowah, wowah, wowah type thing," says McPherson.

He barely made it inside in time.

"Got right to the edge of my house, had to dive through the back door," he says.

The backyard camera captures his kennel roof flying away as his dogs run in confusion as the wall of wind pounds the landscape.

"We were already praying by the time we got in the house, we were already down on our knees," he says.

Only moments after seeking shelter the camera mounted to this tree crashes down.

"It was in and out in probably less than a minute."

But it only took less than a minute for this tornado to wipe homes off the map.

"It was like a nuclear weapon went off. Total disaster area."

McPherson is one of the lucky ones.

"I'm extremely fortunate and thank God that my house wasn't touched and that everyone's ok," he says.

McPherson's dogs are ok.

Parts of Short Tail Springs Road remain closed as clean up crews work in the area.

If you do not live in the area, law enforcement is asking you to stay away and give people the room they need, as they continue the recovery process.

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