WINDSOR, Colo. - Weld County residents are marking the fifth anniversary of a tornado that devastated the town of Windsor.
The May 22, 2008 tornado killed one man, destroyed 78 homes and damaged as many as 3,000 along its 39-mile path.
The Windsor tornado officially touched down just northeast of Platteville at approximately 11:26 a.m. and lifted just northeast of Ft. Collins at 12:16 p.m. The tornado carved a path 39 miles long over a 50-minute span of time. The path length was up to a mile wide at times as the storm moved north/northwest across Weld and into Larimer County.
The Windsor tornado had winds over 165 mph, making it an EF3 on a five-point scale. The Moore, Okla. tornado has been tentatively classified as an EF4.
Windsor resident Cindy Gleason rebuilt her home and told the Greeley Tribune that whenever she hears about a tornado now, she thinks about the years of recovery the survivors will face. A tree outside her kitchen window that had its bark ripped off is a constant reminder of all that work. She says she no longer dreads housecleaning, grateful to have a home to clean.
Tornadoes are not rare for Colorado during the months of May and June, however the Windsor storm was very unique in several ways. The size and magnitude of the event was extremely rare. Colorado tornadoes typically small and short lived. The tornado, dubbed a wedge because its width was bigger than its height, was one of the larger tornadoes to hit the state. The path the storm took was also very strange. Most storms have an eastward movement to them. The Windsor storm formed off the Palmer Divide early in the morning and moved north/northwest toward the mountains. The time of day was also an oddity. Most of Colorado's severe weather occurs in the mid to late afternoon. This storm began and had a tornado on the ground before noon.