Residents in Utah reeling over tornadoes, flooding
Salt Lake City — People across Utah were reeling Friday after storms ripped through the state, including two tornadoes that damaged more than a dozen buildings hundreds of miles apart.
Thousands of people remained without power after the severe weather that also flooded streets and dropped golf-ball-sized hail.
No serious injuries have been reported, but at least 12 homes were badly damaged by a tornado in northern city of Washington Terrance, the Standard-Examiner of Ogden reported.
Resident Gaelynn Sewell’s home was destroyed in the storm, leaving her without even a toothbrush or clean clothes
“We lost things that can never be replaced,” Sewell told The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday.
A garage was lifted from its foundation, trees were ripped from the ground and cars were dented by hurtling chunks of debris. Authorities say the cleanup is just beginning, but could take days or weeks.
Classes were canceled Friday at several area schools.
A group of students from the Utah Military Academy were nearly caught in the twister while running a 5K race, the Deseret News reported.
Pelted by flying debris, the group tried to hang onto trees, but then they began to snap in half.
“If felt like there was a huge, almost like a slingshot bringing you back toward the tornado. It was pretty much like trying to run away from a huge vacuum cleaner,” Jacob Hite told the newspaper. They managed to escape into a nearby store.
Another twister tore roofs off buildings in the southern Utah town of Panguitch, marking the second touchdown there in less than a month, officials said.
Severe weather also caused extensive flooding in southern Utah and dropped hail near the Great Salt Lake. In the town of Roosevelt, several homes were affected by the rising water, which also filled part of State Street.
Up north, hail pelted Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake and the winds ripped the roof off a building.