Incredible drone footage shows the devastating power of Kansas tornadoes
For those of us that don’t live in locations that are prone to tornadoes, it can be difficult to imagine what they’re really like. Sure, many of us saw the 1996 movie Twister, but that’s just a movie, right? Surely it’s not that bad in real life? Well, this footage, apparently shot with a lowly DJI Mavic Air 2 by Tornado chaser Reed Timmer shows that yeah, they’re pretty bad.
I suppose it makes sense that you’d chase tornadoes with a relatively inexpensive drone like the DJI Mavic Air 2. After all, they can be so unpredictable with wind speeds so insane that your drone could be whisked away in an instant, never to be seen again. You wouldn’t want that to happen to a $10K drone! The tornado captured here is said to have had winds of between 136-165 miles per hour and you can see what it’s doing to the houses in real-time.
The Dominator Drone has been found pic.twitter.com/AUNl2qCPG3
— Reed Timmer, PhD (@ReedTimmerAccu) April 30, 2022
The damage is pretty significant, although Kansans are prepared for this sort of weather event and the Wichita Eagle reports that there were very few injuries and no deaths, despite the destruction to property that left more than 6,500 people without power over the weekend. Fortunately, Reed’s drone didn’t get swept away in the currents although it did apparently land in some random location (likely due to low battery). He was able to find and retrieve it, though.
Reed wasn’t the only one out with a drone to cover the tornadoes. Another drone pilot, Zach Peterson, took his drone out to survey the aftermath of the tornado’s destruction. The first video of the Andover YMCA looks like a post-apocalyptic scene from a Terminator movie with buildings in ruins and toppled, crushed and mangled vehicles strewn all over the place. The second shows the devastation to homes with some ripped right off their foundations.
The sheer power of nature’s destructive capabilities is always quite shocking to see, whether it’s hurricanes, volcanoes, wildfires, earthquakes or in this case, tornadoes. If you’re planning to head out to photograph or film anything like this, be careful out there!
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.