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'Looks like a war zone:' Storm producing hurricane-force winds hammer Colorado’s Eastern Plains

Posted at 12:51 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 20:33:13-04

HAXTUN, Colo. — Winds of up to 102 mph blew through Colorado’s Eastern Plains overnight Monday, causing damage to homes and businesses throughout the region.

People in some of the hardest-hit communities, Haxtun and Akron, woke up Tuesday to damaged homes and vehicles after winds uprooted trees and toppled power lines and signs. No significant injuries were reported.

Washington County Emergency Management posted photos of damage to mills, homes and aircraft at Akron’s airport.

A viewer emailed Denver7 and said his brother in Haxtun saw significant damage from the storm.

“Trees on houses, power poles snapped, entire town looks like a war zone, roofs blown off and wall caved in at airport,” the viewer wrote.

The Haxtun Chamber of Commerce started a Facebook thread, reaching out to residents who need assistance.

“Haxtun Community. If your needing assistance. Please comment “ I need....a chainsaw, loader, or labor.” on this thread. This will allow people in our community to assist you. Once your task is complete or you no longer need assistance. Please comment done. Or simply delete,” the post read.

Many residents shared photos showing damage to their homes and vehicles.

Nancy Groom-Bullard, a 31-year resident of Akron who is still without power, said she hasn't experienced anything like Monday's storm.

"I've never been scared by storms, but I was pretty scared by this," Groom-Bullard said. "It was loud, really loud. And then came the hail, and then came the rain. It seemed like there was actually a little snow in that rain, and then about 30 minutes after, it kind of went off to the east. But the wind lasted for about 15 minutes."

Winds twisted her and her neighbors' trees and took the roof off one of her friend's homes. Groom-Bullard said she didn't expect this level of energy from the storm.

"There's a lot of damage. A lot more damage than we expected," she said. "There's not a lot of people out this way to do work for us, so we have to wait our turn. I've already contacted our insurance company, so they'll be out to help us."

The storm that produced the damage was not caused by a tornado, according to the National Weather Service. An NWS meteorologist told Denver7 there was nothing on radar to indicate rotation from a tornado.

The total cost of damage is not yet known.