kentucky tornado tiktok


‘Had the heart attack of my life’: Mom shares viral TikTok of tornado approaching her home—and viewers are judging her reaction

Strangers began to analyze not just her own behavior, but the dynamics of her relationship with her husband.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 17, 2021   Updated on Dec 17, 2021, 10:23 am CST

Only a few seconds long, this viral TikTok is a real-life horror movie. TikToker @sashastiktok13 (aka Sasha Sverdrup) was filming a lightning storm outside her house when she captured the terrifying moment when a tornado arrived.

The tornado appears as a black column in the night sky, towering over the nearby houses. In the background, Sverdrup yells for her husband and children as the camera goes dark.

Now viewed more than 47 million times, this video illustrates the visceral terror of being trapped in the path of a deadly tornado. Sverdrup and her family had no time to evacuate.


Had the heart attack of my life tonight when I looked out the window and saw this #tornado #weather #fyp

♬ original sound – Sasha

Newsweek reports that Sverdrup was filming from a military installation between Kentucky and Tennessee, an area hit by several tornadoes last weekend. Fortunately, Sverdrup and her family were unharmed, and she posted an update after her tornado video went viral.

“I was shaking for hours afterwards, it was so scary,” she said, explaining that some other houses on her street were destroyed, but her family home remained unscathed.

The original video was filmed after Sverdrup and her husband received text messages warning them about the storm. When Sverdrup shouted for her family to take shelter, her husband initially didn’t believe there was a tornado at all. He was watching the storm from a different part of the house and couldn’t see the tornado column or any debris.

Thanks to the extreme virality of that first video, Sverdrup faced a recurring problem for people who get unexpectedly famous on TikTok. Strangers began to analyze and criticize not just her own behavior, but the dynamics of her relationship with her husband. Some criticized her way of dealing with the emergency, while others cast judgement on her husband for supposedly “gaslighting” her about the existence of the tornado.

TikToker @theycalluswild—a mom with over 500,000 followers—wound up posting a video in Sverdrup’s defense, saying that people should stop criticizing the private lives of total strangers.

@theycalluswild recently shared a similar TikTok depicting her own response to a tornado, and commenters praised her for handling the situation more calmly than Sverdrup. However, as @theycalluswild points out, she’d only received a tornado warning, whereas Sverdrup was reacting with very understandable panic to a visible tornado near her house.


Tornado update @sashastiktok13 #leavesashaalone #leavealexalone | donate to the victims through the link in my bio

♬ original sound – Katie Kate Katelynn

It sounds like a similar situation to the “couch guy” furore, where TikTokers psychoanalyzed a strangers’ relationship based on a brief video from a unique situation. Unsurprisingly, @sashastiktok13 deactivated the comments section on her TikToks. She’s also using her video’s viral fame to raise money for a Kentucky tornado relief fund, as the area recovers from the chaos of last weekend.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Sasha Sverdrup via Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Dec 17, 2021, 8:13 am CST