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Stunning photo shows a man casually mowing his lawn as tornado looms

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 6/4/2017 Peter Holley
Stunning photo shows a man casually mowing his lawn as tornado looms © Cecilia Wessels/The Canadian Press/HO Stunning photo shows a man casually mowing his lawn as tornado looms

Had it been a painting the artist could’ve been criticized for failing to imagine a more nuanced metaphor to capture the perils of suburban existence. “Go back to your canvas,” the instructor might say. “This garbage is too literal!” Indeed, the image is that wonderfully preposterous looking. Fortunately, our imaginary artist doesn’t exist, but Theunis Wessels of Three Hills, Canada — a town of just over 3,000 souls located in the southern part of the province of Alberta — certainly does.

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So does his wife, Cecilia, who had the presence of mind to snap a picture of her — daring? bold? reckless? foolhardy? (You be the judge) — husband Friday as he mowed the lawn in close proximity to a swirling tornado descending from an ominous sky.

“My beast mowing the lawn with a breeze in his hair,” Wessels captioned the photo on Facebook in what may be the most epic understatement of all time.

“Omg!!!” a Facebook user replied.

Wessels told the Canadian Press that was on her husband’s to-do list. With her husband doing his chores, Wessels decided to take a nap. She told the Press that when her daughter woke her up a short time later, the nine-year-old was upset. There was something in the sky that resembled a tornado, the little girl said, but her father was refusing to come indoors.

At some point, Cecilia Wessels went outside an snapped a several photos while her husband continued to mow the lawn.

“It looks much closer if you look in the photo, but it was really far away,” he told the Canadian Press. “Well, not really far, far away, but it was far away from us.”

“I was keeping an eye on it,” he added.

Well, in that case …

Video of the massive twister captures the storm’s massive size as it passes near a roadway on which vehicles continue to drive. The CBC reported that no reports of injuries have emerged in the wake of the twister, “although some other photos show downed trees and a barn with its roof ripped off.” Most of the damage, the CBC reported, occurred on rural properties.

Most Tornadoes move at an average of 30 mph, but speeds can range from nearly still to 70 mph, according to Weather Underground. The tornado near Three Hills was clocked moving east at 50 mph.

Witnesses who spoke to the CBC said it was their first time seeing a tornado in the area.

“It’s very shocking, especially when it’s so close to your house,” Don Wolff said. “I’m still shaking, as I think half the town is actually.”

“At first I thought there was a fire because it looked like a whole bunch of smoke.… It started in the fields, and the dirt was just getting taken up, and we watched it get bigger and bigger and go across the highway,” Calgary resident Trina Luoma told the CBC.

“I know they can be dangerous, but it was beautiful at the same time,” Luoma said.


D.C.-area forecast: Heat builds today, showers and storms likely tomorrow

PM Update: Pleasant weather tonight. Heat and humidity make a return on Sunday.

Meteorologists slam Trump decision to withdraw from Paris climate agreement


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