PMP rides out tornado in work van


April 6, 2023

A video from pest management professional Cody Coombes shows how he rode out a tornado in Little Rock, Ark., inside his work van.

Combes was finishing a service call when the winds started to pick up. He recorded the moments from his cell phone and the dash cam in his work van.

The video from the van’s dash cam captures the moment the tornado passes over, leveling trees and propelling debris all over.

Check out the full video here:

Just after the tornado had passed, Coombes then shot video of the devastating damage to the houses around him, debris and downed trees all over. He was “shell shocked,” as he said in his video.

Coombes said this was the scariest moment of his life.

“Yeah, 100 percent I did think I was going to die,” Coombes told THV11. “Once I saw the winds pick up the way they did, my first thing that made me bring out my phone was the clouds in front of me were actually picking up some debris. So I saw a little chunks of wood and roofing being flung around in front of me. So I knew at that point, it had to be nearby.”

The tornado came directly behind Coombes’ van. Luckily, the van was parked in the position it was, because the back was completely enclosed and made more secure with metal cabinets. Coombes also told KTHV that the weight of the equipment in the van helped weigh it down.

“But if I had been facing the other way, it would have went right through the windshield,” Coombes said.

The van did suffer some damage. A branch dented the side, one tail light was torn off, and it was covered in debris. The tornado was rated a “high end” EF3 with winds as high as 165 mph.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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