Climate Videos,  Short Documentaries

Telling the toll of the Midwest tornadoes


This “After the Tornadoes” short-video series was shot and produced by Bobby Lee Messer, in conjunction with AmpMediaProject.com, StoryofAmericaFilm.com, and FacingHumanity.org. The series features short interview clips underscoring the personal toll and community losses from the aftermath of a historic series of tornadoes that carved a deadly, 250-mile-long path of destruction in the American Midwest, on the evening of Dec. 10 and Dec 11, 2021. Known as “the Quad-state tornado” (since the storm system tore through four states), the latest toll from the devastation as of Dec. 29, 2021 was 90 people killed with three additional non-tornado-related fatalities.

NOTE: These videos may be used by media organizations with the following credit line upon publication, either in print or online: Video shot and produced by Bobby Lee Messer of Messer Media in Huntington WV, in association with AmpMediaProject.com, StoryofAmericafilm.com, and FacingHumanity.org.


CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO: “It just exploded out …”

Video by Bobby Lee Messer of Messer Media in Huntington WV, in association with AmpMediaProject.com, StoryofAmericaFIlm.com, and FacingHumanity.org

Should the recent destruction be confirmed as single, continuous tornado rather than a series of twisters, the Washington Post noted, the “quad-state tornado” would rank as the longest-track tornado in U.S. history and the first to track across four states. The storm system lofted debris more than 30,000 feet into the air, “indicative of a twister of top-tier intensity,” reported the Post. More than 18 million people were under tornado watches amid the outbreak, and the Weather Service issued 146 tornado warnings, the most on record during December, according to the newspaper.


“Last night was one of the most shocking weather events in my 40 years as a meteorologist — a violent tornado (in December!) drawing comparisons to the deadliest and longest-tracking tornado in U.S. history,” tweeted Jeff Masters, a meteorologist and expert on extreme weather.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/12/11/tornado-path-mayfield-kentucky-deaths/

CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO: “We’re all alive.”

Video by Bobby Lee Messer of Messer Media in Huntington WV, in association with AmpMediaProject.com, StoryofAmericaFilm.com, and FacingHumanity.org

While a definitive link to climate change is still being debated by some, prominent climatologist Dr. Michael E. Mann had this to say in a Dec. 13, 2021 “Democracy Now” interview: “We tend to call these things natural disasters, but this isn’t a natural disaster. This is a disaster that was exacerbated by human-caused climate change.”


“We have been seeing an increase in these massive tornado outbreaks that can be attributed to the warming of the planet.” ~ Climatologist Michael E. Mann


“Make no mistake, we have been seeing an increase in these massive tornado outbreaks that can be attributed to the warming of the planet,” Mann went on to say. “But what’s going to happen here, we’re going to continue to see that climate change is going to combine with natural factors, like the La Niña event that we’re experiencing, to produce ever more extreme examples of these sorts of phenomena.


CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO: “I felt a hand …”

Video by Bobby Lee Messer of Messer Media in Huntington WV, in association with AmpMediaProject.com, StoryofAmericaFilm.com, and FacingHumanity.org.

Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology at Northern Illinois University who has published studies on links between climate change and severe storms, told the Washington Post in an email that events like this may become more common in a warming world. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the Kentucky death toll alone was 77 dead, as of Dec. 27, after a Graves County infant died from injuries. The final death toll could make the tornadoes the deadliest December tornado outbreak on record and among the 15 deadliest in any month, reported the Post.


CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO: “I don’t like to bad-mouth my hometown.”

Video by Bobby Lee Messer of Messer Media in Huntington WV, in association with AmpMediaProject.com, StoryofAmericaFilm.com, and FacingHumanity.org.

The videos were shot and produced by Bobby Lee Messer of Messer Media in Huntington WV, in association with AmpMediaProject.com, StoryofAmericaFilm.com, and FacingHumanity.org. NOTE: These videos may be used by media organizations with the prior credit sentence as a credit line upon publication, either in print or online.


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