On Thursday Colorado was affected by severe storms which brought about violent tornadoes. Homes were destroyed, a police cruiser was swallowed by a sinkhole which popped open and there was so much hail that people living in a Denver neighborhood had to use shovels to dig in the ice.
Forecasters warned on Friday the Pikes Peak area will be affected by bad weather and flooding which will follow overnight and into the weekend. The eastern and northern parts of the counties El Paso and Pueblo faced showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. According to Mike Nosko from the National Weather Service in Pueblo the county of El Paso faces light risk of severe weather, whereas Pueblo might face marginal risk.
No major injuries were reported. Sgt. Greg Miller from the Sheridan police department drove his car into a sinkhole which was not visible. To get out of the car he crawled through one of the windows and reached the car’s roof and afterwards the pavement. Fortunately Miller was not hurt and the police cruiser was pulled out on Friday afternoon by a crane.
Nearly 40 miles north of Denver, in Berthoud, Alvin Allmendinger’s family made their way to the basement just as a tornado removed the roof of the house. They remained there for an hour while hail was rolling down the stairs and rain got into the basement through the floorboards. The stones of hail piled about nearly 2 inches deep on the steps of the basement. Allmendinger said that he is grateful that they are alive and that is all that matters. Luke Koldewyn whose house was also destroyed said that people who have been living there for 50 years have never witnessed such weather before.
In Berthoud at least three homes were destroyed and according to Elbert County officials six homes near Simla were destroyed by tornadoes.
The storms were actually part of an El Nino phenomenon which took place in the Pacific Ocean. This led to a low-pressure system combined with an upper-level jet stream which came over southern California. These factors combined brought moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to Colorado. The storm system should reach Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas early next week according to meteorologist Kari Bowne from the National Weather Service.
Image Source: SF Gate