‘Put the fear of God into me’: Legendary first responder ‘Cajun Navy’ president tells CNN he’s never been scared by a hurricane — until now
During an interview with CNN, John Billiot, the president of the Cajun Navy, said that he’s never been so scared by a storm in his life.
Billiot was between Panama City and Panama City Beach and said he’s almost certain he saw tornadoes within the hurricane itself. Indeed, the CNN meteorologist explained that there were at least three mesocyclones within the storm. The storm itself, however, was akin to an EF2 tornado, except, instead of moving on, it sat for at least 30 minutes.
SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPARISON: The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and #HurricaneMichael in Mexico City, FL. The similarities are striking. No words can describe the immense damage caused 118 years ago and today.# p #3_15 # ad skipped = true ## p #4_15 # ad skipped = true #
— AllanWeather | New York (@AWxNYC) October 10, 2018# p #5_15 # ad skipped = true #
“You’re always there in the wake of these storms,” CNN’s Jim Sciutto said. “Have you seen something like this?”
Billiot’s voice was shaking as he explained that in his 13 years, he’s never seen anything like it.
“This one right here put the fear of God into me,” he said. “It gives me goosebumps just talking about it.”
He explained that they were coming back from Panama City Beach Wednesday when a 100 to 125 mile-per-hour wind hit them.
“I never thought that a big military truck would go airborne like I saw yesterday,” he recalled. “We went back to the hotel where we were staging at. I witnessed — if you can check out my live video, I witnessed so much damage. They’re saying that a tornado didn’t pass, but I say that’s bull crap because I think a tornado did pass. Because the walls flew off of our hotel, I mean, I witnessed kids getting hurt. A lot of glass shattering. As soon as the weather had slowed down a little bit, I ran to the emergency room, there were like eight of them.”
“I’m going to be honest with you, I have never seen this before,” he said.
Watch the interview and Billiot’s video he shot yesterday below: