DENVER (CBS4) – You may have heard at some point in your life that hills or mountains will protect you from a tornado. But that’s a common misconception and it was proven wrong Tuesday about an hour southwest of Denver.
Just after 2 p.m. on July 21 a tornado touched down in the vicinity of Devils Head Trail and Campground between Deckers and Perry Park in southwest Douglas County. The storm flattened about six acres of forest within a matter of minutes.
The National Weather Service office in Boulder said the tornado was 100 yards wide and had a damage path 500 yards long.
Winds were estimated to be around 90 miles per hour giving the tornado a rating of EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.
Besides being a myth-buster the twister was rare for a few other reasons. It touched down in a valley about 9,000 feet above sea level and will now join a short list of high altitude tornadoes in Colorado.
The tornado was also the strongest to hit the area in seven years. The last time an EF1 tornado was documented in Douglas County was on August 23, 2008.
Since the modern torando record began in 1950 there have been 60 tornadoes in Douglas County, not counting this year.