Texas Grandmother's Close Encounter with Tornado Captured in Dashcam Video: 'It Was Terrifying'

Irma Cantu and her daughter had just picked up her grandson from school when severe weather hit the Houston area and they had to ride out the storm in an SUV

Woman’s dashcam Video Captures Moment She Was Trapped Inside Tornado

A Texas woman's close encounter with a tornado was captured in dashcam footage while she and two family members were on the road in an SUV as extreme weather hit the Houston area last week.

Irma Cantu was driving her Toyota Land Cruiser Jan. 24 in Pasadena, Texas, after she and her daughter picked up her 18-year-old grandson from school when they were caught in the storm.

"I looked around, there was nowhere that we could go," Cantu said in an interview with local station KHOU. "So I just put my car in park, I put the emergency brake on."

While Cantu and her family rode out the storm parked outside Pasadena High School, a camera in her car kept recording. The footage, published by CNN, shows intense rain, wind and debris flying by on the other side of the windshield.

"I could feel objects hitting my car repeatedly," she said. "It was terrifying."

The dashcam also recorded Cantu saying "wow" at each object striking her vehicle. As the tornado got closer — which is evident when the footage gets darker and noisier as the wind picked up — her daughter began to pray inside the SUV.

"I guess you're either going to panic or you're not," Cantu said of being able to stay calm. "No matter what happened, I knew we would be okay, regardless of what did happen."

Woman’s dashcam Video Captures Moment She Was Trapped Inside Tornado

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Cantu and her family members were uninjured but later showed how the tornado damaged the vehicle that protected them during the violent weather. That footage shows their white Land Cruiser with sizable dents and broken windows.

Woman’s dashcam Video Captures Moment She Was Trapped Inside Tornado

Asked if there's anything she would do differently if caught in another tornado, Cantu said, "I would not have left the house."

The Jan. 24 twister left an 18-mile path of destruction across the Houston metro area that extended through Pasadena, Deer Park and Baytown, KHOU reported at the time.

The National Weather Service reported the "large and extremely dangerous tornado" caused "catastrophic damage" in the area.

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