AURORA, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – A line of severe storms packing high winds and hail swept across Colorado’s Front Range and Eastern Plains Sunday, spawning several damaging tornadoes, including one that dropped down near a junior golf tournament southeast of Denver.
A tornado touched down near the Blackstone Country Club, causing one minor injury and flipping an empty trailer, Aurora Fire Department officials said.
Paul Cleveland, 16, who was playing in the tournament, said he and two other people were riding a golf cart when they saw a funnel cloud heading in their direction, swirling debris.
“I ducked down, protected my head and waited for the worst,” he said.
Moments later, Cleveland said, the twister lifted the cart and threw it on top of a caddy walking nearby. The caddy, a man in his 50s, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, said Capt. Diane Lord with the Aurora Fire Department.
“I had never really seen clouds just moving in all different directions,” resident Michael Celentano told CBS4. “Pretty soon those unique looking clouds started swirling around.”
Several other tornadoes were reported Sunday, including one in the tiny northeastern Colorado town of Grover and two in Park County. A twister also touched down in a sparsely populated area of southeast Wyoming, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.
In Colorado, a funnel cloud touched down near Fairplay about 65 miles southwest of Denver at about 11 a.m., damaging the roof of a home, Park County spokeswoman Linda Balough said.
“This is amazingly unusual at 10,000 feet, very unusual for it to happen up here,” she said.
Another tornado was reported a short time later, about 40 miles away near Lake George, and caused “substantial” damage at an RV park, Balough said. No one was reported injured in either tornado.
PHOTO GALLERY: Sunday’s Severe Weather
Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Fredin said a trough of low pressure created a “large extensive line” of severe weather along the Front Range from southern Colorado to the Wyoming border.
A tornado watch for all of eastern Colorado extends to 8 p.m. Sunday as the band of severe weather heads to the Plains states.
At one point during the storm there was 1,600 lightning strikes. One of the bolts of lightning hit a home in Aurora.
– By Sadie Gurman, AP Writer
Associated Press writer Thomas Peipert in Denver contributed to this report.
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