SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma family is lucky to be alive after getting trapped inside a tunnel while last week’s tornado raged above them.
“I’ve lived in Oklahoma all my life and I know that is not the place to go when a tornado comes but we didn’t have a choice,” said Beau Underwood.
He caught the entire frightening experience on camera.
“We wanted to go through the tunnel to get to some sort of public shelter near Oklahoma Baptist University but it was too late,” said Underwood. “The intent was to turn around and get away from the tornado but we didn’t make it.”
In the video, Underwood pulls up the emergency brake and braces for the worst. He said they threw blankets over the kids and told them to lay flat.
Underwood said they could feel the vehicle vibrating as the tornado went over them and their ears started ringing.
“It all just happened so fast with that tornado,” said Underwood. “That tunnel was the closest thing I could get to a shelter for my family. I know you’re not supposed but it was the closest thing I could do, unfortunately.”
An overpass or tunnel could cause the situation to be more dangerous than outside. According to the National Weather Service overpasses and tunnels could create a wind tunnel effect. Essentially, stronger wind and more debris could fly into the area that is being used as a safe haven.
Underwood said he knows this but that last week’s tornado was so sudden and surprising, there wasn’t much else to do.
“You know, we were strapped in with seatbelts,” said Underwood. “It was just thinking so quickly and I know, it wasn’t the best spot but we utilized everything we thought to keep them safe.”
Underwood says his family is safe and that they have seen storms like this before but this one was the worst he’s been apart of.