Windsor Tornado Was 5 Years Ago Today – May 22, 2008 [PICTURES]
It’s a day I will never forget, Thursday, May 22nd, 2008; the day the Windsor Tornado killed one man, destroyed 78 homes and damaged thousands more as it stayed on the ground for an incredible 39-miles!
I was at a luncheon for the Greeley Stampede with nearly all of my fellow employees when the tornado hit! Everyone’s beepers and cell phones went off at the same time. My boss called me with panic in his voice, “Get back to the radio station now! Windsor has been destroyed by a tornado”. I couldn’t believe it, but Brian and I jumped into the K99 van and headed back to town. I’ll never forget it. When we arrived at Highway 257 and 392, it looked like a bomb went off! Nearly every tree in the cemetery was knocked over. Nearly every headstone was affected. The stop light at the intersection was lying on the ground, sparking. It was very creepy.
They weren’t letting anyone into Windsor, because it was too dangerous. The tornado had just left minutes ago. However, the police officers knew we had to get back to the radio station to tell what had happened. They directed us through the side streets until we could find a way back to 6th and Main. Brian and I immediately went on the air and stayed on the air until the power went out in the building, about 16 hours after we started our day that morning.
At one point Brian tried to go out on the street with his cell phone to do some live reporting, but all of the cell towers had been knocked down. So, we stayed on as long as we could reporting what information we could get by listeners calling in. Even our internet and news service was down. The next few weeks were spent recovering from the massive storm, raising money for the Red Cross, and trying to heal along with our friends and family in the community. If you look at Windsor today, you can barely tell a tornado hit us 5 years ago. We are a resilient people. Thanks to our good friend Karen Hauff for all of the pictures below.