It was an especially violent tornado season last year for Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Bettes, but he’s ready to return for the network’s upcoming “Tornado Week.” Bettes and his crew were in a “Tornado Hunt” truck that was thrown about 200 yards by the powerful El Reno tornado (pictured above) on May 31.
Bettes was left with cuts on his face, hands, and arms. He also swallowed glass and got three stitches on his left hand. His photographer Austin Anderson experienced even more severe injuries, but has fully recovered.
“It was tough in the weeks and months following the tornado,” Bettes tells TVNewser. “I definitely had symptoms of PTSD, but time has helped, as well as the support from my family and coworkers. Ultimately, knowing how much our viewers rely on us to bring them timely tornado warnings has motivated me to report from the field again.”
Bettes is also taking extra safety precautions this year.
“We will do everything we can in the future to assure a large buffer zone between our crew and the storm,” he says. He’ll also insist on “multiple exit routes to help us escape quickly in the event that a tornado makes an unexpected turn.” Bettes will be on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” later this morning.
“Tornado Week” on the Weather Channel begins tomorrow.