Small tornado stirs up Richfield; no one is hurt
By Laura Hancock
Deseret Morning News
A tornado ripped through the south-central Utah town of Richfield on Tuesday afternoon, causing property damage but no injuries.
Debris lies by a road in Richfield after a tornado passed through. The twister picked up several cars and blew a garage roof down a block.
The National Weather Service classified the tornado as an F-0 on the tornado scale, which goes up to 5, weather service meteorologist Karen Kahl said.
"We didn't actually see it, but we had enough reports" from people witnessing the tornado and its damage that the weather service confirmed it was a small tornado, Kahl said. The tornado lasted less than 10 minutes and followed a thunderstorm.
Richfield police received the first in a stream of calls at 3:23 p.m., Lt. Alan DeMille said.
A funnel cloud is believed to have touched down near 250 South and Main. Damages first were reported in the parking lot of Albertsons. "We have reports of approximately five cars that were picked up off the ground, one as far as 3 feet," DeMille said. "Two cars hit into each other. The others did not hit anything."
The twister then moved across the street to the Central Utah Counseling Center, 255 S. Main. The tornado hurled a large piece of metal at three cars in the parking lot. A trash bin was lifted from a nearby fire station and dropped at the counseling center, DeMille said.
The twister moved northeast. A green metal roof from a detached garage was swept down a block. It cut a power line and telephone line, DeMille said.
"It was my garage. I had no idea the roof was flying in the air," said Mona Lee Peterson, who lives at 140 E. 200 South.
Peterson was working at home in her dog-grooming business. She just finished one dog and was to start another one when the power went out. She heard a noise that sounded like a transformer blew out. Dust and debris were so thick she could not see outside. Then her neighbor told her about her roof.
Peterson checked her garage, which stores her beloved 1959 Ford Thunderbird. "Not a thing happened to my T-Bird, thank goodness," she said.
Tom Thomas was relaxing on his living room couch at his house, 160 E. 200 South, and looking out the bay window.
"I heard a rumble, and saw a bunch of dust. My wife says, 'The wind is picking up.' And I saw a roof go by and I knew there (were) going to be problems," he said.
Thomas lives near Peterson, but the only thing missing from his house was a mailbox, which was blown down the road. It will need to be replaced because it is too damaged.
"I went out and assessed the house, and (the twister) didn't get a shingle. It's interesting how it hits and misses in some places," Thomas said.
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