SALT LAKE CITY — Two tornados touched down hundreds of miles apart in Utah, damaging about two dozen buildings and knocking out power to thousands of people.
The severe weather also flooded streets and dropped golf-ball-sized hail in some areas.
No serious injuries were reported, but damage from one tornado left 21 homes unlivable the Washington Terrace area, sheriff’s Lt. Nate Hutchinson told the Deseret News.
Resident Gaelynn Sewell’s lost her home in the storm, leaving her without as much as a toothbrush or clean clothes.
“We lost things that can never be replaced,” Sewell told The Salt Lake Tribune.
A garage was lifted from its foundation, trees were ripped from the ground and cars were dented by hurtling chunks of debris, officials said.
About 50 families were evacuated due to the tornado, and damages were expected to top $1.5 million. Classes were canceled at several schools.
A group of students from Utah Military Academy was nearly caught in the twister while running a 5K race. Pelted by flying debris, the group tried to hang onto trees — some of which snapped in half.
“If felt like there was a huge, almost like a slingshot bringing you back toward the tornado,” Jacob Hite told the Deseret News. “It was pretty much like trying to run away from a huge vacuum cleaner.”
Authorities say the cleanup could take weeks. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert planned to survey the area.
Another twister tore off a roof as it damaged two buildings in the southern Utah town of Panguitch. It was the second time in less than a month that a tornado touched down there, officials said.
Severe weather also caused extensive flooding in southern Utah and dropped hail near Great Salt Lake.