Petroleum worker gets front-row seat for Sundown tornado - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Petroleum worker gets front-row seat for Sundown tornado

SUNDOWN, TX (KCBD) -

Just after 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, KCBD Storm Chaser David Drummond caught a tornado touching down just north of Sundown.

Occidental Petroleum worker Cole Mulloy was just down the road when he saw the twister form.

"I was on CR 303 at one of our facilities. We were having problems there, and I look back to the west and saw the tornado hit the ground," Mulloy said.

While he wasn't worried about his own safety, Mulloy's mind quickly turned to his family.

"I was more afraid for them. I called them and let them know to go ahead and take cover, and I'd let them know when everything was clear," he said.

About 15 minutes later, his worries faded as the twister disappeared. Knowing the danger was gone, Mulloy drove down to FM 1585 where the tornado had crossed.

"It hit one of our old abandoned offices. The tornado came through and ripped off the roof. You can see the tin strung out everywhere," he said.

The tin roof pieces littered ditches and fields. Some of the tin blew more than 250 yards away and wrapped around power line poles. Several trees were uprooted near the building, and there was even part of a wooden power pole sticking out of the building's window.

"We're pretty lucky because we are out here in the field all the time. We've got night riders that ride around and check facilities, so we made sure to make calls to who we needed to make sure everyone stayed out of the path," Mulloy said.

Mulloy says they're fortunate the tornado touched down in an area where there was nothing but an abandoned building.

"Everybody's pretty lucky on that one for sure," he said.

Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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