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Front Page » June 25, 2002 » Local News » Wind storm wreaks havoc, leaving behind path of property ...
Published 4,413 days ago

Wind storm wreaks havoc, leaving behind path of property damages


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By KAREN BASSO
Staff reporter


The living room at Miller Creek residence of Ora Keel lies in disarray following a severe microburst last Friday. High winds ripped off the roof and left behind a trail of property damage. Keel and her grandchildren were in the room when the incident occurred, but no one was seriously injured.

A path of destruction followed in the wake of a severe storm on June 21.

Power service was interrupted throughout the county and property damage was sustained during Friday's storm.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., Miller Creek residents held their breath as a strong wind storm blew through the area.

The storm was unlike any previously witnessed by the residents, who watched as corrals blew apart and roofs to homes got carried away with the strong wind.

According to Dave Florence of the American Red Cross, 12 homes in lower Miller Creek sustained significant damage during the storm. Damages ranged from broken windows to uplifted trailers.

For Ora Keel, the storm turned to tragedy as she sat with her grandchildren inside her home as disaster struck. The sounds of wind filled the room, then suddenly the roof of the Keel home blew away from above the family members' heads.

Keel explained that the force of the wind not only blew the roof away, but threw the couch she was resting on across the room and on top of the resident. Insulation was scattered throughout the home, covering the children.

After the dust cleared, the home appeared to be completely destroyed, but the occupants remained unharmed.

Behind the Keel residence, a small camp trailer was thrown by the force of the winds. The trailer tipped onto its top and landed upon the leg of the Keel's horse. The leg was so badly hurt that the injury lead to the animal's death.

Although the most significant destruction was done to the Keel home, surrounding residences also incurred property damages.

The next door neighbor found the roof of a shed blown into pieces and a second resident's home received broken windows.

Further down the road, siding and roof damage occurred. In fact, a large branch off of a nearby tree was imbedded into the roof of one home.

The tree hit the residence with such force that the base of the branch struck the roof and lodged into the home.

A horse corral was damaged , with winds sending pieces of metal flying through the air. Roof pieces were carried across the street and landed in a neighbor's yard. The roof managed to sheer a water pipe in half.

Fortunately, no humans were injured during the ordeal.

With the exception of sore muscles and a slightly scratched hand, injuries were tamed to a minimum.

Following the storm, the American Red Cross representative visited the scene in the Miller Creek area.

Florence reported that no one spotted a funnel, therefore the wind is categorized as a microburst.

Although many people believed that only a tornado could cause such a significant amount of damage, Florence reminded local residents that microbursts can be as severe as funnel winds.

The Red Cross has offered to provide assistance to residents who suffered property damage in Miller Creek during the storm. The Red Cross has offered assistance to the Keels and continues to be a support center for the family during the difficult time.

Although the most significant damage occurred in Miller Creek, Price residents experienced complications due to the storm.

Power service was interrupted for several hours in the Price area after a transmission line was hit by a tree which was struck by lightening.

The lightening incident resulted in a fire on Cedar Hills Drive and Price city emergency crews rushed to the scene to control the situation.

After the blaze was extinguished, Utah Power crews worked to maintain electrical service for Price residents.

The city remained dark for several hours until the proper repairs were made to the company's transmission line.

Friday's storm rushed into the valley and wreaked havoc while looming above the Carbon County area.

After the skies cleared, Carbon County citizens started to work on clearing the destruction the storm had left behind.

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