LARKSPUR, Colo. - Tornado warnings were issued for several counties Thursday afternoon as severe weather moved through the southern metro area.
A funnel cloud was spotted in southern Douglas County Thursday afternoon, triggering a tornado warning for the county.
“It was just a funnel," said witness Kitty Anderson. "It was up in the air but you could see the funnel coming down and I told my husband, I says, there’s a tornado and we immediately grabbed our camera and headed on out and was keeping an eye on it and it just kept moving south so it was kind of interesting. Then after that it just started raining, then it hailed and it was really coming down pretty good.”
The warning for Douglas County expired at 2 p.m., but then a tornado warning was issued for El Paso and Teller counties. That tornado warning expired at 2:45 p.m.
The National Weather Service said trained weather spotters at 1:15 p.m. reported a funnel cloud nearly touching the ground east of Larkspur. The storm was moving east at 10 mph.
Douglas County sheriff's Sgt. Ron Hanavan said 911 dispatchers received several calls about a funnel cloud possibly touching down, but they haven't been confirmed. The sightings were near Highway 83 and Greenland Road.
“We are receiving a high volume of calls about funnel clouds being seen in the area," Hanavan said. "We are sending patrol cars in that direction to see if there was any damage."
Elbert County sheriff's spokeswoman Michelle Nail said deputies are checking on a report of a funnel cloud near County Road 104 and Kelly Air Park airfield.
At Kelly Air Park, a woman said a funnel cloud appeared out of a cloud, but did not touch the ground. At 1:47 p.m., she said the storm was directly overhead and there was a light rain falling.
At 2:16 p.m., National Weather Service doppler radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado. This storm was located near Woodland Park or 15 miles northwest of Colorado Springs and moving east at 15 mph. Locations affected in the warning included Colorado Springs, Chipita Park and Cascade.
No damage was reported but in some locations, a blanket of hail covered the ground.
Storms Cause Mudslides In Larimer County
In Larimer County, the storm caused mudslides. There were two reports of mudslides, according to Jennifer Hillman, spokeswoman for the Larimer County Sheriff's Office. The first report was that the slide was approximately 50-yards of debris and rushing water in the 6500 block of Highway 14. Information is that Highway 14 is currently not passable at that location, Hillman said. CDOT has been notified and is on scene working to clear the road.
The second report is for an approximate 100-foot mudslide in the Buckhorn Canyon in the area of Buckhorn Road and 1 mile west of Stove Prairie Road. County Road and Bridge has been notified of this slide and is responding to the area.
No evacuations have been ordered at this time.
If you are in an are with a tornado warning, take cover and move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building and be sure to a avoid windows. If you're in a mobile home, a vehicle or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.