A Whirlwind Wonder

12-year-old shows strength and survives tornado all by himself


NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

The first tornado captured by the NSSL doppler radar and NSSL chase personnel.The tornado has reached the mature stage of formation.

Aidan Williams, Reporter

It’s been almost five years, and Jamarion Hicks still remembers the details of the tornado that hit his home at dinner time on March 13, 2016. He was eating dinner, alone. 

 Tornadoes can go from an EF0 to an EF6. EF0 being the least threatening, and EF6 being the most threatening. The tornado headed toward Jamarion in Grady, Arkansas, was an EF4. 

“It was like I was in a loud nightmare that went into a silent dream,” Jamarion said. It was a couple of seconds, seemed like it went by slowly, but quickly. I could hear it peel parts of the roof and walls off while the wind screamed.” 

Jamarion said he was not scared, but he was not calm either. While being home alone at his aunt’s house, he saw the tornado form and immediately went to the downstairs bathtub. That was when the tornado hit. 

After a couple of seconds, the tornado took three windows, the back door, and parts of the roof with it. Jamarion was not hurt, but he was stunned. He came out only to see the tornado miles away out of the windowless wall. 

“I was in the tornado and watched it spin away,” he said. “It was like I was in a movie kind of.”  

Jamarion was grateful he was left without a scratch. 

 “I was crouched up in the bathtub, but there was no damage to the bathroom at all, Jamarion said. 

His aunt’s house was fixed up in a matter of six months. Things went back to normal in no time. Of course, the family was worried about Jamarion’s mental and emotional health because of the experience. They even offered for him to go to therapy. 

“I assured them I was fine,” he said. I was just glad I survived something like that.”