Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hey, it's NOT Kansas here, Dorothy

It's always exciting when the town that I grew up in makes the news. Usually it's because of the achievements of one of the sports teams, or because Eastman Kodak made some great decision that affects KCD (Kodak Colorado Division).

Today, however, is not a fun time to be in the news. We have made national news today. A class EF3 or EF4 tornado went through the east side of town right around lunchtime, causing a lot of destruction. This story is pretty much the only thing on the local news tonight.

As much as I feel the need to drive up there to check on my family, I know that I won't be allowed in, as Governor Ritter has declared a state of emergency on the town and all of the roads have been closed - you can get out, but you can't get in. Interestingly, several S.W.A.T. teams happened to be in town today for a training course - I think they are getting more training than they were betting on.

One of the daycare centers sustained heavy damage, but thankfully, all of the children had been evacuated prior to being hit.

According to reports and pictures, this thing was absolutely HUGE. Approximately 3/4 to 1 MILE wide, traveling at about 50 miles an hour. It's been a little hard watching all of the news reports and seeing the destruction of some of the historic buildings and businesses. Most of the damage occured on the east side of town, as well as part of Main St. The old sugar beet factory, which had been turned into a pool hall, is now partially a crumbled pile of bricks.

As the evening wears on, I know that there will be more to write about and share, so I'll update again in a little while.