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Weak tornado gives residents plenty of clean-up ahead

DeWeese tornado damage
DeWeese tornado damage trailer
DeWeese tornado damage roof
DeWeese tornado damage RVs and boats
Posted at 6:45 PM, Jul 23, 2019

CUSTER COUNTY, Colorado — A tornado impacting Custer county, near DeWeese Reservoir, was reported Monday afternoon. No injuries were reported, but minor structural damage did occur. The National Weather Service completing their survey Tuesday, rating the tornado an EF-0 with winds of 70 mph. The path was half a mile long and up to 25 yards wide.

Tornadoes are a rare occurrence at this elevation, about 7,600 feet, but they can happen, as witnessed by the small community here. Within such a vast area of open space, it's unfortunate the tornado happened to rip through a neighborhood near the reservoir.

Joan Wiehoff has lived in the area for over 20 years and was home during the storm. She said, "it was devastating and scary. We were in the house and all the power went out, and we were looking at the tv, and everything went dark. We looked outside and everything was a mess outside and [there was] lots of lightning." Her neighbor was not home at the time, and their property has damage. There is multiple trailers flipped and, what appears to be a shed, was ripped apart. Wiehoff says their home is in good shape, with just some shingles in the yard.

Some of the most striking damage occurred just down the road from Joan's house. Tim Jameson was thankful she wasn't there during the storm as he cleans up the mess left behind. On his property, a large open structure, with metal roof and walls was lofted over power lines and fell about 50-100 yards across the way. The power lines were seemingly untouched by the massive roof. The roof landed on the home of his neighbor, where minimal damage was done to that home. Left behind on Jameson's property were two heavily damaged RV's and an overturned metal boat.