Home > Announcement, Uncategorized, Videos > A Massive Tornado Tore into the Northern Colorado

A Massive Tornado Tore into the Northern Colorado

May 23, 2008

By Bug

The town of Windsor and nearby towns such as Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, etc. hit hard by the tornado Thursday damaging many homes and businesses. Imagine you are Deaf relaxing at home and don’t know that tornado coming toward you because you can’t hear the siren. Is it scary? I have a Deaf friend who slept while the tornado was hitting the town. After she woke up and walked to her front door to get her newspaper. When she opened and noticed her neighbor’s house was not there and her front tree was gone too. People who are deaf would not hear a tornado coming until they could feel the vibration and of course it would be too late then, nor could they listen to the radio or any other source of weather information that requires hearing. I admit that I sometime keep my eyes open for any kind of nasty weather because I know I would never get the alert message right away. We don’t have many tornados because it is very unsual to see this by a mountain range. Unfortunately, not many towns have tornado sirens or think they need them.

I woke up and wondered why my room was so dark in the morning. I looked out of my bedroom window but all I saw was the black sky. I turned my computer on to check the local news. The national weather service in Denver had issued a severe thunderstorm warning and a tornado watch. I sent a warning notice to my Deaf friends and let them know that we are under a tornado warning watch. One of my friends said, ” I’m not worried. I’m used to tornados back home.” I replied teasing Vanessa, ” How nice of me to let you know in case you don’t want to lose your wig.” I think she didn’t realize how bad tornado was. A one hour later Vanessa said ” I keep my eyes on my cats they were acting up due to tornado warning. If it happens. I grab them with me to the bathroom. It’s safe because no windows”.

My past American Sign Language (ASL) student Jessie sent me a wireless email asking if I’m okay. I told her that we are still under the tornado watch. “This weather is insane! There was a tornado in Windsor. Have you heard anything about Fort Collins? We’re in lock down at school”, said Jessie. I told her that I might not be able to use my sidekick to send or recieve the emails because of no power

I was concerned about my friend Tim’s parents because they live in the area where the tornoado hit. I sent my text message asking if his parents were safe. Tim replied, ” My parents are good. My dad made it through but his work building (shop) trashed. Everyone had time to make it to shelter. Hope the company can rebuild. Roof gone. Doors gone,”

Another email came from my friend Cindy. She wrote” Hey, where were you today during the “fun” weather? The tornado touched down north of the Budweiser plant and came towards my school in Wellington. My school lost all of its power. We had the kids in the hallway for almost 2 hours. It was so loud…sounded like a train was on top of the school. We sang to the kids so they wouldn’t hear how bad it was. ”

A several cars were overturned and a train was derailed. The town is littered with wreckage of roofs, beaten cars, and torn up trees. Some homes are halfway torn out. More than 200 poles were brought down by the tornadoes. About 60,000 people were still without power at 4 p.m. It’s terrible and sad for some of these people. The total number of injured is unknown, but I was told that least 100 people were treated for a variety of injuries.

I saw a damaged atm machine next to the bank. Also the bank is destroyed. I was told there were reports of injuries in the area where children at a daycare received minor scratches. Roughly 130 kids were in the daycare and they hid in a bank vault for safety. None of the children were injured, but several cars suffered heavy damage near the building.

Hundreds of people were left homeless today after a tornado ripped through residential streets in. Also, many birds were beside the fallen trees. I think the birds were trying to figure out where they needed to go since their little homes (nests) were gone. It’s like the homeless people tried to figure out like the birds.

The dogs were wandering around. Some of them sat in front of their owners’ destroyed home as they waited for their owners. I walked by their houses and looked for anyone missing. One victim said, ” My house is gone, I lost my dog. I lost my cats. I lost my camper. I lost everything.”

I took many good pictures and will post them soon. The videos you are about to watch contains footage of an incident in which many places were destroyed and damaged. Except one of videos (tornado on T.V.) was not made by me. I want to show you what the tornado did to the town.

If you are looking for information about the welfare of those impacted by the tornadoes, log onto www.redcross.org.

UPDATED: to view my pictures, click: https://fookembug.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/disaster-photos/

  1. Peachlady
    May 23, 2008 at 6:39 am

    Do you use http://www.emergencye.com/ ? I see your state offer a free public service I get warning messages thru my pager in my county. Very useful!

  2. immy
    May 23, 2008 at 6:55 am

    it saddens me to see such weather tragedies devastate properties and leave many homeless,,,it seems to be getting worse,,,prayers go out for those whom have suffered many losses

  3. Julie B.
    May 23, 2008 at 8:07 am

    My sister lives in Loveland, CO. I don’t have much of luck in getting a hold of her or her family.

  4. flbigmouth
    May 23, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Thank you Bud for sharing with your video and articals… however, I’ve been in the same experienced with teachers and children at school. We had one about two months ago. We had to sit in the hallway for 2 hours. We heard loud noises but it passed over. The wind, I could see through the school door with the small window. Trees were blown hard and it was bending all around from left to right and swings around. Interesting….
    My prayers are out for all those people who lost their homes and lives. Mother nature is something else and thank goodness for the technology in communicating family and friends!


  5. Nuttyguy
    May 23, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Glad, you’re ok. You had me worried for a moment! And I couldn’t get a hold of you for awhile due to a power being down.

    Remember, I used to joke to you about tornado and I said, “I’ll see you flying around on tv”. Something like that?!

    Anyways, our prayers are with everyone effected by this nasty tornados!

  6. Misha
    May 23, 2008 at 9:56 am

    OMFG!!!!! Wow, I’m glad you got out safely, Bug!

    In first video, wow, that was a massive tornado!!! Whoah!

    A month ago or less, my brother’s state, VA had a tornado in a town near where he lives. I was so worried and emailed him to see if he and his wife are ok. He told me that he’s okay. It turned out the tornado hit south part of his city, not his area. Whew, I was so relieved.

    I can see how scary that can be for the deaf who couldn’t hear the warning sirens.

    Did a tornado get your pants?!? 😉 Just kidding, Moonless Bug.

    Misha 😀

  7. Just Jodi in the Netherlands
    May 23, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Glad u came out of it OK…I feel so bad for the folks who have to endure being homeless, and with out power and water,,,

    Keep in touch and let us know how things are


  8. Kate
    May 23, 2008 at 11:54 am

    whoa! Some friend from MN told me about that! We just moved out of Colorado, then that happened! Peachlady, thank you thank you for informing us about the emergency website so we signed up for both computer and pager. Yea, we do have monsoons in AZ and sometimes they are so bad and dangerous.
    Glad that you deaf Coloradoans are ok. Yea, it is scary when you sleep at nite and you would never know what it hits. We depend on our cats and dogs for our ears.

  9. RLM
    May 23, 2008 at 11:59 am

    What about deaf people having no wireless pagers on them?

    Old-fashioned way by keeping up news on TV?

    There was the mini-earthquake few miles from my residence last month, then two tornadoes made the path within my regional area.


  10. ASLGal
    May 23, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    I know that a group of people is working on an system that is connected to the internet and the TV services (it runs on battery not electricity because often in these kind of situation, electricity goes out). You can read messages from the emergency people about warnings. It also will alert the strobe light that is connected to it. I am not sure where I saw it, but I haven’t seen it around yet.

    But in fact, I am wondering HOW MANY deaf people have strobe lights in their bedrooms to alert them for fire? Many don’t. And how many people have CO2 warning system?? Not many..

  11. Lisa C.
    May 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I had heard about it but I was not aware how bad it was. I thought it wouldn’t have happened in Colorado. I will check with my husband’s cousin and his wife who live in Thornton where I don’t think it was hit. Its sad that deaf people can’t hear the warning. My husband’s deaf son didn’t know about the tornado that hit his town in Illinois 2 years ago till he was puzzled why his garbage cans and kids’ swing set were missing and found out when one of his neighbor told him about it.

  12. Elaine N
    May 23, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I’m glad you kept in touch with me while you were dealing with this horrible thing. it made me feel a little better knowing you are ok.
    I was scared for you. I know at first I said something wrong sorry about that big brother.. the videos look terrible wish I could be there with you at this time..
    I also wish i was rich to offer food and help to those who lost their homes..

  13. Nancy R., Loveland, CO
    May 23, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I was at a bakery, to pick up my daughter’s birthday cake. While I was there, the cake was not decorated correctly and so the baker asked if I would wait while she re-do the decoration. I told her okay, I would be back in half an hour. So, I stopped at Walgreens next door and there I saw a huge black tornado from the top hill in Loveland, I could see it going from East at Windsor. Then I saw a big funnel cloud coming down onto Taft and 14th where I was! I saw a black cloud going West on my right side and the other cloud going East on my left side. I rushed in the car and the tornado hit the street on 14th and Taft and it backed up and did no damage. I didn’t look behind me as I was rushing home and big hails were coming down!

  14. 320Thingy
    May 23, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Wow, saw all the videos. Glad you are OK. My prayers go with families and homes.

  15. ED
    May 23, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    No Matter that you are deaf or not to recieve any warning about bad weather or emergency warning through your pager or home computer. You should put your pager and email addresses in http://www.emergencyemail.org. and select your county that you live in. This url will warn you before it get happen. I worked for Dept of Transportation as snow removal operator for 24 years. http://www.emergencyemail.org always post me what the weather, earthquake condition or any emergency be. It’s worth to have it.

  16. May 23, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Please be aware that emergencyemail.org doesn’t always work anywhere, depend on where you are at. If you’re in the isolated town, backcountry mountain, open space like farmland, country, etc. then you will not be able to get the alert message. You might want to walk around with the cell phone, pagers and make a map of good signal areas vs bad ones. Find dead spots, and compare signal strengths. Windsor is one of many town has dead or weak spots. I use it for three years. When the disaster happened, the tower went down….no power, no wireless emails, no communication, etc. – Bug

  17. A.J
    May 24, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    What about buddy system?

    May I ask you a question? Why did the video itself shake little bit? Is it from strong wind or you being aniexty when you were on the site? Good videos, though.

  18. Denver
    May 24, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Whew! Glad to hear you are okay. I know Vanessa. I miss her. I did not know she has wig or were you teasing her? It’s very sad to see this awful situation in the north. Take care.

  19. Angela
    May 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Hey Bug,

    I am glad you’re ok and others. It’s sure look big one, and it is unusual to see like that. I will e-mail you soon, when I get better. I had memorial migraine weekend. :oP Be talking to you soon. Thanks for sharing us this vlogs.


  20. Jacey125
    May 25, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    whoa….. some of them movie looks so scary! So glad that you went though OK! That is important!

  21. May 25, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Residents of some areas of the town of Windsor were allowed to return to their damaged homes for the first time since the storm yesterday. They are searching for personal items and clean up what is left of their homes. Utility workers have been busy tracking leaks and damaged power lines. Colorado National Guard members patrol the devastated areas. I don’t think the residents can stay there because of gas odor, damaged power lines, unsafe buildings, etc.

    A.J. – I was driving or standing in the wind, that’s why my camera was shaken.

  22. harleygirl248
    May 26, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Whoah! What a monster tornado! Never ever saw it in my life, I always like to study hurricanes and torandoes on how it was created and over the years I’ve watched many videos of torandoes. This one you showed me is CHAMP!

    Is that one confirmed F-5? From all the videos you showed homes damaged, it looks to me like an F-5.

    Let me know if I am correct. Dang! Thank you for sharing with us. Wow!

  23. May 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    A preliminary damage survey Friday by the National Weather Service showed the tornado that hit Greeley was likely an E-F3, with speeds from 136 mph to 165 mph. The one in Windsor was an E-F2 or E-F3, with wind speeds between 111 mph and 165 mph.

  24. May 27, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Hi, Fookem –

    Just read your blog and found it frightening. My sister also lives in Windsor and — thank god — was on the southwest side of town. Has some house damage but nothing like the other side.

    I want to tell you that you don’t have to just be afraid of not getting weather alerts. You have several options:
    1 – Get a NOAA Weather Radio that has a visual alert, like a blinking red light. I know these are made by Oregon Scientific and Midland Radio, and both are available at significant discounts on eBay. You won’t be able to hear it, but you’ll be able to see that something’s up and go visit your local National Weather Service website or Intellicast.com’s StormWatch or a similar site.
    2 – You can subscribe to The Weather Channel’s NOTIFY service, which will call your phone and have it translated by your TTY equipment.
    3 – Depending where you’re located, your local emergency management may have implemented a special notification system for deaf people. Check with your local government.

    Good luck and stay safe.

  25. jimmer
    May 28, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    The big black monster that you saw in the first video clip went through a retired missile silo near Greeley. A door at the silo that weighs 660 tons (1.2 million pounds) moved 2 inches!

    Sadly, the retired missile silo converted into a campground is the site of the only death casaulty that day.


  26. May 29, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Mary, thanks for letting me know. Glad your sister’s okay.

    Jimmer, wow! I didn’t know about missle silo.


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