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Woman surprised on highway as storm passes

MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Drivers on I-65 in Maury County were caught in the fury of a tornado as the storm crossed the highway Wednesday.

A Spring Hill woman was also close to the tornado and thanks her friend who was sending her alerts while watching News 2.

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Imagine what it’s like to be driving down the road and coming almost face to face with a tornado. That was the reality for Gini and Mike David as they headed home Wednesday afternoon to Spring Hill as a tornado touched down in Maury County.

“We got in the car and headed north on 31, coming right into the subdivision,” said Gini, a Spring Hill resident. “It suddenly turned around because we could see this huge black mass and it looked like it was hovering over Columbia, but we didn’t know what it was doing.”

The situation worsened when the couple’s radar stopped working as they searched for the safest place to go.

“We were going almost parallel to the storm; it was probably a half mile south of us,” Gini said.

Dashcam captures moment tornado crossed I-65 in Maury County

Not knowing which direction to drive, they turned to text messages from their friend who was watching the news.

“Apparently my friend Amy Lewis was watching Channel 2 and she texted me ‘Tornado warning in Colombia’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ She started sending me pictures and we were driving and we were scared,” Gini told News 2.

Fortunately, they avoided the tornado, but it was just barely. So, what should you do if you’re stuck in your car in a similar situation during a storm?

National Weather Service (NWS) officials tell News 2 the decisions you need to make aren’t easy and depend on the situation, but there are some guidelines you can follow.

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“In general, it is not recommended to stop under viaducts or bridges. This is a problem for several reasons: When you stop under a bridge, it can create a traffic hazard, which adds a whole other problem to a safety issue. Additionally, if a tornado directly hits a bridge, winds can spread across that area and increase the damage and potential danger from that tornado,” said Sam Herron, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Nashville.

NWS officials told News 2 the best thing to do is get out of your car and find shelter during a tornado, but if you can’t, take other precautions.

“If that’s not possible, a ditch is a good choice.” Now, of course, you want to watch out for flooding and debris that could fly into the air,” Herron said.

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Following these tips could make all the difference. For Gini, she said she was grateful for the severe weather warnings that may have saved her family’s lives.

“But my friend was watching and paying attention and said, ‘Go north,’” Gini said. “I just think there are so many blessings; there were a lot of things going in our favor.

Remember to carry the power and reliability of WKRN Weather Authority with you at all times in download the News 2 Storm Tracker app.

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