Tornado Survivor Describes “Very Violent” Twister That Almost Took His Life

Wallace District Fire Department / Facebook

The terrible tornado tore through the small city of Virden, Manitoba during this past weekend (August 7th, 2020) killing people and injuring others. Aaron Jayjack chased the tornado and took a video of it showing what the experience was like.

Another man named James Blacksmith from the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in Canada nearly died when the tornado hit him while in his vehicle but managed to live through it. Not everyone was so lucky. Unfortunately, two teenagers, both 18 years old, did not survive the destructiveness of the tornado after it picked up their car and pulled them out of it. Alysa Pederson, a meteorologist from Environment and Climate Canada, described the twister as a very large tornado with a wind speed of around 160mph.

“A lot of people just can’t comprehend how wind can pick up a piece of machinery in a yard that weighs thousands of pounds and throw it half a mile across the highway onto another piece of property,”  the mayor of Virden, Murray Wrights, explained to WellAndTribuneCanada after visiting the farm where the tornado hit.

When police officers arrived on the scene, the farm was completely decimated. They located a first victim, 54-year-old James Blacksmith, who miraculously survived the tornado. James was lucky because a pine tree was uprooted and thrown onto his JEEP’s roof protecting him from being pulled away by the tornado.

“If that tree hadn’t landed on me, I think that tornado would have done more damage. I probably wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you right now,” Blacksmith told WellAndTribuneCanada.

A local woman named Misheyla Iwasiuk said the EF-3 tornado was the biggest storm she has ever seen.

 “It was a pretty bad scene … This storm was large, very violent and it wasn’t anticipated,” she said to WellAndTribuneCanada.