The tornado that struck Weld County on Monday afternoon has been rated as an EF-1 with 99 mph maximum winds. The tornado touched down near Platteville.
JIM BENEMANN: The latest damage assessments are coming in. Good evening, I'm Jim Benemann.
The tornado destroyed two homes and two businesses. Three other properties also have significant damage. Look at that, just tossing buildings and cars around like toys. The tornado was on the ground for six long excruciating miles, from Firestone all the way east to Platteville.
This video, from Jorge Garcia, shows just how massive that twister was. Remarkably, no reports of injuries or deaths. This evening, we begin our coverage with Dillon Thomas. Dillon was part of our coverage right from the start yesterday.
Dillon, teams spent today trying to determine all that happened.
DILLON THOMAS: Jim, those with the National Weather Service today ruled it was an EF-1 tornado that blew its way through northern Colorado, ripping apart homes, flipping over vehicles, and throwing everything, including the kitchen sink. Those who have farms in the area tell us that cleaning up all of this debris is critical for their livestock and their crop.
Less than 24 hours after a tornado ripped through southwestern Weld County--
- We're out here today to document the tornado itself. Where did it begin? Where did it end? What time? How wide was it? How strong was it?
DILLON THOMAS: The National Weather Service combed through the landspout's path.
- That's consistent with 80 to 100 mile an hour wind speeds.
DILLON THOMAS: Damage left behind led scientists to say this was an EF-1 tornado, one which did not claim human life but left a mess in its path.
Farmer Scott Mining was working on a tractor Monday when he recorded this. Tuesday, his team was left to clean up their crops.
SCOTT MINING: As it started losing momentum, things just kind of started falling out. It just left a wake of trash.
DILLON THOMAS: What may seem like a small problem to many--
SCOTT MINING: Now we have to come out and pick this up.
DILLON THOMAS: --is actually significant for the livelihood of the crops and those that feed off of them.
SCOTT MINING: If we don't pick up the trash, the ditcher will pick it up and tear out corn. There's a lot of things out here that could really mess up the equipment, not to mention the crops too.
DILLON THOMAS: If machinery tears up the debris and processes it with the feed, it could kill cattle or make it into products sold on shelves. Clean up from the landspout is an important step that could impact more than just rural Coloradans.
SCOTT MINING: Some things that are big issues to us don't register to people that live in town.
DILLON THOMAS: Many people think that this really hit close to home and they were shocked that it could happen so close to downtown Denver, since it was visible from downtown. But those with the National Weather Service tell us that Weld County actually has the national record for most tornadoes in a county.
Reporting live in Weld County, Dillon Thomas, covering Colorado first.