Oklahomans are used to tornadoes but usually not when they are on vacation in Europe.
Still, that is exactly what happened to a Midwest City couple this weekend in Venice, Italy.
The couple is with a group of high school students from Harrah on an educational trip. Scott and Tami Blomgren had just arrived in Venice and it was a rainy, humid day. The couple was inside a glass factory, talking to a sales person.
“He was visiting with us about where we were from and all of a sudden he received a phone call from his mother and he looked a little alarmed,” Scott Blomgren said during a Facetime conversation on Monday. “He found out we were from Oklahoma and he grabbed my hand and said ‘come, come.'”
From upstairs, Scott Blomgren got a clear view of the tornado moving across the marina about a mile or two away.
“As it hit the water, the water spout developed, it pulled the water out of the marina and really got a defined shape and then it looked like almost straight up and down,” said Scott Blomgren.
“Like a stove pipe,” Tami Blomgren said.
Clearly these two know what they're talking about.
“Every time David (Payne) is on, we have the TV on, learning more and more,” said the couple. “We knew all about tags, we knew all about the funnels, the bell, the lower because David educates us every time there’s a storm.”
But as this tornado moved through, there was no David Payne on TV, no warnings at all.
“I said I didn’t hear a tornado siren and the tour guide said we don’t have those here,” said Tami Blomgren. “He said but we didn’t want to alarm anyone that there was severe weather and I was like we would be outside taking pictures because we are from Oklahoma and we see that all the time.”
According to an Italian news source, the tornado destroyed a children's playground and a sun lounger rental store.
Two people received minor injuries from flying loungers and parasols.