RIVERDALE, Utah — Damage from a rare tornado that ripped through a Utah county a year ago still lingers in the homes and minds of people who live in its path.
The twister gutted 12 homes and damaged dozens more in Weber County, causing a combined $2 million in damage and injuries to at least five people, The Standard-Examiner in Ogden reported (http://bit.ly/2jRNztv).
Residents remember roofs torn off homes, trees ripped out of the ground and barbecue grills tossed into the air.
One house is gone completely. Rose Blomquist, whose home was a total loss, remembered sitting at the kitchen table doing her homework when the wind suddenly changed from moderate to strong enough to toss a grill into the air.
“Once the pressure changed, the windows all blew out at the same time, and that’s when everything started flying around the room,” she said. “We had three people’s roofs piled up in front of my door and a swamp cooler in the living room. We didn’t own a swamp cooler.”
Their neighbor Erin Bybee said she was in her house when she heard a loud noise. She looked back and saw the sky through the dining room ceiling.
“It was such a loud bang, I didn’t know if something blew up,” she said. “I looked outside, and it looked like it was a war zone.”
All the windows were blown out of the family minivan.
Her children remain terrified of wind. “For the first few weeks, even if it looked cloudy, they got scared,” she said.
Their next-door neighbors, meanwhile, are still living in a trailer on their property as they repair the damage to their home.
Krystal Elliott says her husband and three children were headed to a birthday celebration the day of the tornado, but turned back. When they returned home, she saw a blow-up swimming pool swirling through the air.
“Then I looked the other way and saw this tornado coming up the road,” she said. The twister took the roof off their home and dropped it over the car.
Washington Terrace resident Jake Field said the tornado took out his bathroom window and back fence, but he knows it could have been worse.
His children, 10 and 7, were playing outside when it hit. His daughter was scratched on the face by a stick caught in the winds.
“Our kids were a little weary of storms before, but now they’re extra cautious,” Elliott said. “Even me. We’re always watching the weather report.”
Information from: Standard-Examiner, http://www.standard.net