It was this day, May 22nd, 11 years ago that the small town of Windsor, Colorado and the people who live and work in the area, like myself, will never forget.It was the first time Weld County had seen an f3 tornado since 1950, and it's 130 to 150 mile per hour winds ripped through the town.
The tornado which was as wide as one mile at times along its path wept north northwestward for 34 miles from northeast of Platteville in Weld County at 11:26 AM to 7 miles east northeast of Fort Collins in Larimer County at 12:16pm. There was one fatality and 15 to 20 injuries. More than 850 homes were damaged, with nearly 300 homes significantly damaged or destroyed. Privately insured damages total 147 million dollars, and the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association reported one million dollars worth of damage to electric transmission facilities.
As for me, I was just a part time guy at a radio station in Windsor and had been working on a project at the station in Windsor that morning. We heard reports of the truck that had been flipped on Highway 85 near Platteville with the tornado heading for the Evans and Greeley area. My thoughts instantly turned to my 70-year-old grandmother who lives by herself in a mobile home right in the middle of what they thought may be the path of the storm. I rushed from Windsor to Greeley to pick her up and take her to my dads house where there was a basement. Needless to say, looking back the tornado and I were heading in different directions, and by the grace of god we happened to be a few miles away from each other when our paths would have crossed. There was no harm done in Greeley and grandma was safe, but Windsor wasn't as lucky. I happened to be house sitting for a friend who lived in Windsor and when I went back to check on his house that night I couldn't believe what i saw. It looked like a war zone.
It was also neat to see how the community made the best of the situation, helped their neighbors, and probably set a record for how fast they picked the town back up. I am now a proud resident of Windsor, and there is not a part of this town that really shows what happened on this day 11 years ago. All that is left is memories of one of the scariest days Northern Colorado has seen ever.
Here is video taken on May 22nd 2008...