‘Untouched’: All 70 workers survive Nebraska tornado. One man credits prayer, God for miracle.

‘Untouched’: All 70 workers survive Nebraska tornado. One man credits prayer, God for miracle.

Nate Hutchinson was one of 70 workers who huddled inside the Garner Industries’ industrial building in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday as a tornado tore through the area. The force of the storm ripped off large portions of the roof, burying the group in a mountain of debris.

In that moment, all the young man could do was pray.

“There’s nothing I can do right now except literally just pray to God that I don’t die because I’m not in control of anything at this point,” Mr. Hutchison said in an interview. “It’s just hopefully I don’t get crushed.”

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The workers were getting ready to leave for the weekend when the EF-3 tornado made direct impact with the industrial building and those passing by looked on in horror. EF-3 tornadoes are categorized as having estimated winds between 136-165 mph.

“The power shuts off and then like two or three minutes later, the air pressure changes completely,” Mr. Hutchison explained. “You can hear things are just shaking … And everything just came down on top of us, just instantly.”

Miraculously, all 70 workers survived the ordeal, and all but three were completely uninjured, including Mr. Hutchison, who was able to drive home to his wife and newborn daughter after the storm passed despite his windshield being destroyed. Still, those three injuries were a stark reminder of how much worse things could have been.

“The one that seemed the scariest, the dude’s face was covered in blood, but he was up and moving around,” he recalled.

On Monday, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen surveyed the tornado damage by helicopter, saying the building and surrounding areas that were hit “look like war zones.” In addition, a well-known disaster relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse has since dispatched volunteers to help the hard-hit Midwest communities clean up while also providing emotional support and spiritual care.

And while the local fire chief credited the workers’ survival to the decisions to hunker down in “reinforced areas” of the building, Mr. Hutchison said it was prayer that got him through the ordeal. In fact, the day after, he wore the same shirt as a reminder of everything he had been through and how God protected him.

“This is a band called Rufus Du Sol and they have a song called, ‘At Least I’m Alive,’ and I thought that was just fantastic,” he said of his shirt. “Sitting there praying for God to save my life, and then I’m here, untouched.”

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.

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