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Cleanup Effort Under Way In Elbert County After Storms Damage Homes

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One of the homes in Simla damaged by a tornado (credit: CBS)

One of the homes in Simla damaged by a tornado (credit: CBS)

SIMLA, Colo. (CBS4) – Severe weather on Thursday damaged at least 10 homes in Elbert County on Thursday.

Crews from Elbert, Kiowa, Elizabeth, Rattlesnake, Simla, Agate, Calhan and Limon Fire Districts, along with Elbert County SO, responded to multiple calls of tornadic activity.

Thirty-two homes suffered moderate to severe damage, but only one family has been displaced.

The most damage was in and around the town of Simla, where some houses’ roofs were damaged and some windows on cars and homes were shattered.

The storms dropped 1 to nearly 3 inch diameter hail. Officials with the National Weather Service said there were four tornadoes that touched down in the state on Thursday, with at least one in Elbert County.

The storm near Denver was strongest when it moved south out of the eastern part of the Denver metro area in the evening and into Elbert and eventually into northern El Paso County.

David Metzler of Simla was inside his house with his two grandchildren when a tornado hit the town. They all went to the basement and weren’t hurt.

Kiowa resident Laura Van Why told the Associated Press that multiple windows were shattered in her home. She said she hid under the stairs of her basement with her husband, 2-year-old son and two dogs while they heard windows shattering and glass flying in their basement.

One person in Elbert County wound up with minor injuries.

“It was really loud and I could hear the glass breaking,” one resident told CBS4. “It was really blurry outside.”

CBS4’s Dave Aguilera said the storm was produced by a stationary front that initially brought in warm, moist air into Colorado and then created a dividing line between drier air pushing in from the west and moist air in place over the Eastern Plains.

A relief fund for the Studers, the displaced family, is currently being set up at the Farmers State Bank in Calhan, (970) 347-2727. The Red Cross is helping the Studers and is on standby to help others.

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