WRAY, Colo. (CBS4) – Eastern Colorado teens Ali Marintzer and Charlie Bator didn’t expect to have a dramatic backdrop for their prom photos. Now images of the couple posing in front of a tornado that touched down north of Wray on Saturday are spreading rapidly on social media.READ MORE: Westminster Police: Suspect Fires At Officer Following Crash, Dies At Hospital
“It’s kind of crazy that we actually got a picture with a tornado,” Ali Marintzer, 15, said Tuesday.
The Wray High School freshman was preparing to attend prom when warning sirens started going off near her parents’ home. The weather warning prompted school officials to delay the dance for 45 minutes. Ali Marintzer and Bator, 18, waited in a basement until sirens stopped.
The photographs they took when it was safe to go outside captured a “once in a lifetime moment,” Ali Marintzer said.
A few miles north of their neighbor’s yard, Ali’s mom Heidi Marintzer spotted a funnel cloud forming. She grabbed her daughter’s cellphone and began taking photos.
“It was just so beautiful behind them,” Heidi Marintzer said, “Mother Nature was beautiful, the kids were dressed up and great, and we got a great picture out of it.”
Ali Marintzer posted the photos on social media and received an overwhelming response. She and Bator received messages from people across the country.READ MORE: CBS4 Fan Poll: Have the Broncos closed the gap on the Chiefs?
“I didn’t think it was going to get that much attention, I just thought it was kind of cool,” Bator said. “You catch weird nature stuff all the time, this one just the public liked it I guess.”
The tornado captured in the couple’s photos was one of several to touch down near Wray on Saturday, damaging homes and leaving five people with minor injuries. While the couple was posing for the pictures, they were unaware of the damage the storm was causing. They said they could tell the funnel cloud was moving away from them, and was at least two miles north of them.
“I feel bad that we’re getting so much attention when people’s homes have been destroyed,” Ali Marintzer said.
Following the storm, hundreds of people gathered to help the neighbors clean up damage.
“We were completely safe, there was no way that it was going to come and get us in any way,” Marintzer said.MORE NEWS: Colorado Weather: Tuesday Storm May Fizzle Out For The Denver Metro