CANTON, Texas (KLTV) - As tornado sirens rang out in the city of Canton Wednesday, many people saw an opportunity from a safe distance to capture mother nature’s wrath as it touched down and made its way through the city.
Some, though, took the opportunity to record the moment even as they stared down certain death.
Brey Rasco watched as a funnel cloud made contact with the earth and began barreling toward him.
“At one point, the tornado was headed directly towards us, and we were all praying, every one of us, praying to God that it was going to change directions,” Rasco recalled. “It’s just like it took the air out of you, sucked the air out of you; it was an experience"
Instead, Rasco said once the tornado hit Highway 64, it went east towards the Canton Trade Days grounds, and made its way north into the city.
Editor’s note: Video may contain graphic language. Viewer discretion is advised.
“It was insane. There were two or three of us guys out there watching it,” Rasco said. “We seen at one point, it looked like a trailer was flipping up, a bumper-pull trailer was flipping , and a bunch of debris was flipping up in the air. We watched it touch down twice. I’ve seen a lot of tornadoes in my life, but to see one like that was scary.”
Shaun Parker was at work during the storm. He and some friends decided to go outside and take a look at the conditions, when the clouds in front of them swirled into a funnel.
“We couldn’t see anything at first. We just went off of people saying there was a tornado coming,” Parker recalled. “We decided to watch for it. We kind of saw some rotation through the trees, so I pulled out my phone to take some video.”
The funnel touched down in the city with enough strength to pick up debris, Parker’s video shows.
“It started picking up a lot of debris, and that’s when we think it hit Mr. D’s down the street,” Parker said. “Then it just kind of trekked around in a wooded area and dissipated.”
This isn’t his first experience with tornadoes in East Texas. He said he was at his parents home in Van when tornadoes hit Canton on April 29, 2017. He also witnessed the tornado that torn through Van on Mother’s Day in 2015.
“Out here, it’s just getting more and more common,” Parker said. “People in the vicinity of where I live are starting to get storm shelters because it’s becoming much more common. It used to be something that happened once every couple years, but now it’s just three, four, five in a couple of months. It’s become a real threat."
Dane Fuller shared a similar experience. He was driving home from work when he noticed one of the larger tornadoes in Canton. He said seeing the tornado was a terrifying experience.
“I headed home and spotted the super cell as I was driving and pulled over," he said. "You could see trees flying around in the tornado.”
“It was surreal," Fuller added. "You know, I’m videoing and I’m also praying in my head for the people that’s in the path of that storm, ‘God protect those people,’ you know.”
Residents say they are thankful for relatively light damage, but they hope they don’t see another tornado any time soon.
“That one in 2017 was probably worse than this because it was a lot longer path, but this one right here was right up there with it," Fuller said.