Happening:

Outrunning tornadoes: ‘As long as we go 80, we’ll beat this thing’

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Liz Demko, left, and friend on a road trip to ComicCon – before the weather turned tornado-y.
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Liz Demko, left, and friend on a road trip to ComicCon – before the weather turned tornado-y.

“I was living in Albuquerque and traveling to Dallas. It’s about a 10-hour drive, a long trip ... Me and my girlfriend were heading there for a ComicCon (Fan Expo Dallas). We were getting into Texas and the weather turns really bad. I look behind me and there’s this huge black cloud coming directly at us.

I turned the radio on and they were like, ‘Tornado warning! Tornado warning! Take cover. Get off the roads.’ We were in the middle of nowhere ... They said there were five tornadoes that were forming and spotted.

My friend had to go to the bathroom and we stopped at a gas station ... The air felt weird, the wind was blowing like crazy. It was a whistle blow. It was summer and the temperature dropped 20 degrees. It felt chilly. The sky was eerie, being super black behind us versus a little gray the other way.

We didn’t want to stay there. We get back in the car and the black cloud is getting closer. My thoughts were like, ‘They said that the winds were 60 mph, as long as we go 80, we’ll beat this thing.’ (Laughs) It was highway driving so it was fine. I was going the speed limit, but we could see the lightning and it was honestly the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.

My body was clenched and tense and my friend was terrified, too. We could hear the wind and it was far but close if that makes sense, but we got through it.

Then, we finally get into Dallas and we are on the highway and it is rush hour. I remember sitting there thinking, ‘Wow, I’m so tired, right now. I need to be fully aware.’ All of my energy had been put into the weather before. I was mentally almost gone. Out of nowhere, in high traffic, this ladder falls off the back of a truck in front of us and lands in our lane. I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ We were about to drive over the ladder but then this other car clips it and it goes whoop (arm resting on table goes perpendicular) and the ladder flips into the lane next to us. The lady next to us – we were driving side-by-side to her – her face was like (mimes wide, horrified eyes). She ended up fine, no big accident, but had to pull off to the side of the road.

Needless to say, I was very awake at that point. I had been so tired and was zoned out until I got that feeling. I truly believe God was like, ‘Hey, you need to be aware right now because something is about to happen.’”

Liz DemkoGot a travel story worth telling? Write it in about 400 words and send it to editor@dgomag.com. If you’d rather tell your story, send a brief synopsis to the same address. Either way, your story should be true.

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Liz Demko, left, and friend on a road trip to ComicCon – before the weather turned tornado-y.