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Paul Aiken
A funnel cloud is seen from Louisville moving east of Boulder County Sunday afternoon. Photo by Paul Aiken / The Camera / June 7, 2009

At least five tornadoes touched down in Colorado on Sunday â including one east of Lafayette â with the most serious twister overturning benches and a car outside a mall in Aurora.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries. Firefighters reported moderate damage and gas leaks at the Southlands Mall, which was forced to close.

In Boulder County, sheriff’s officials reported no weather-related damage.

The other tornadoes were reported 6 miles east of Lafayette; one south of Bennett; one south of Deer Trail; and one north of Byers, the National Weather Service said.

A funnel cloud also may have touched down briefly near Interstate 25 and Colo. 7 near the border between Erie and Broomfield, witnesses said, although officials could not confirm that.

The National Weather Service said the tornado that damaged the mall touched down south of Buckley Air Force Base just before 2 p.m. and may have been on the ground for about 30 minutes, taking an 8- to 10-mile path across southeast Aurora.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning units on the mall roof were damaged. Mall spokeswoman Joyce Rocha-Brown said damage was being assessed and no decision had been made on when the building might reopen.

Julie Patterson, 36, could see the tornado from the back deck of her house in Aurora.

“You could see the debris flying in the funnel cloud,” she said.

Christina Loznicka, a spokesman for Allstate Insurance Co., was driving through affected neighborhoods near the mall Sunday evening, assessing the damage.

“Where I am is all town homes, and I think every unit has damage,” she said by cell phone. “There are lots of windows broken out, vehicle damage, landscaping.”

She said homeowners should contact their insurers as soon as possible, make repairs to windows and roofs necessary to prevent further damage and save receipts associated with the storm, since many should be reimbursable.

The extent of the insurance bill will take days to determine, she said, as customers report hail damage and other losses.

Many spots in the Denver area also were pelted with hail as big as baseballs. The Weather Service received reports of hail as big as 3 inches in Arapahoe County, meteorologist Robert Koopmeiners said.

Xcel Energy said the storm blew down power lines, leaving about 3,000 customers in parts of Aurora and Centennial without power for about an hour and 40 minutes before service was restored.

Today is expected to have a slight chance of showers in the morning and a 30 percent chance of afternoon showers or thunderstorms, until midnight.

There’s a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon, with mostly cloudy skies and a high near 73 degrees.

June is notorious for thunderstorms and tornadoes, with more than 40 percent of the twisters the state receives each year recorded during this month.

Camera Staff Writer Amy Bounds and The Denver Post contributed to this report.

VIDEO: TORNADO EAST OF BOULDER COUNTY JUNE 2009

Archived comments

ColoRay

I was being sarcastic, and it’s good to know that they are on an alternative energy.I have plenty of friends in the city, just can’t stand the propaganda from the government/council.

Hutch620

6/9/2009 12:25:14 PM

To bad no sirens went off.

siggy1123@hotmail.com

6/7/2009 3:16:34 PM

Sirens went off in Longmont, quite far from the active storms at the time.

klmarkey@comcast.net

6/7/2009 3:50:00 PM

What do you expect happens when humans overtake the natural habitat of tornadoes?

bouldermeister

6/7/2009 3:51:15 PM

actually the sirens did go off in lafayette and longmont… funnel cloud were never west of louisville which is why the boulder sirens never would have gone off.

boulder123

6/7/2009 4:06:11 PM

“Read more at DenverPost.com.”

For more on your local news… go to another city’s newspaper.

Pathetic.

Jesus_was_a_socialist

6/7/2009 4:11:21 PM

“What do you expect happens when humans overtake the natural habitat of tornadoes?”

uhmmmm, I guess it gets windy and stuff. Then we seek shelter.

What do you do?

“the natural habitat of tornadoes”.

Good one.

For the record, humans (including you) have overtaken the natural habitat of everything natural. Just so you know, humans themselves are in fact quite natural, or are you presuming that we were all fabricated in a Korean sweat shop?

Humans have lived for centuries in the paths of tornadoes, earthquakes, flood zones and areas prone to hurricanes. Why? Because these are the consequences of living in nearly every geographical area on something known as planet EARTH.

Are you telling me that we have other options?

Please share them with us.

GradyWilson

6/7/2009 4:23:59 PM

Actually, it is believed that the temperature differential, between say a parking lot and a field, can under the right conditions influence the creation of a funnel cloud or tornado. And so, the act of humans altering the natural landscape, may indeed increase the frequency of tornadoes in areas that were once relatively uninhabited.

Bldr77

6/7/2009 5:03:23 PM

Are you telling me that we have other options?

Yes, I do believe that the City Council can find a way to tax ourselves and, with the proper number of foot soldiers, implement a carbon offset program that will end tornadoes all together, at least east of Boulder, which is where the work of our climate change initiatives will be seen.

bouldermeister

6/7/2009 5:03:45 PM

“Actually, it is believed that the temperature differential, between say a parking lot and a field, can under the right conditions influence the creation of a funnel cloud or tornado. And so, the act of humans altering the natural landscape, may indeed increase the frequency of tornadoes in areas that were once relatively uninhabited.”

While this might be true, I’ll give it a .05% difference.

This calculation that you say “is believed” (as in the Easter Bunny) doesn’t explain why the tornado captured on camera near Lafayette occurred in a field, not a parking lot. Notice the dirt flying into the air.

GradyWilson

6/7/2009 5:20:39 PM

“Yes, I do believe that the City Council can find a way to tax ourselves and, with the proper number of foot soldiers, implement a carbon offset program that will end tornadoes all together, at least east of Boulder, which is where the work of our climate change initiatives will be seen.”

Anti-establishment are we?

Do you happen to live in a converted school bus in Jamestown? Or is it a cabin in Nederland?

Just wondering.

I supposed that making proper adjustments to society can be difficult for some, good luck with it.

GradyWilson

6/7/2009 5:26:13 PM

man, you are too easy grady.I was being SARCASTIC.Time for a vacation.

bouldermeister

6/7/2009 5:30:28 PM

bouldermeister i was about to tell you to step away from the bong

Grady stop the steroids they are making you act out

he_b_gb@yahoo.com

6/7/2009 5:38:49 PM

“Time for a vacation.”

I guess so man. I could use one.

I must say however, that considering how every post of yours is written in the same manner, it’s a little hard to tell the difference between your sarcasm and who you really are.

Forgive me.

GradyWilson

6/7/2009 5:40:20 PM

I guess it does not matter what the Daily publishes, the same idiots post stupid comments about stuff that has no relevance to the story, They seem to just want to fling poo

crnkbait

6/7/2009 6:36:26 PM

Pulled out the broom and went for a ride to the top, then pulled the chute…

What fun.

mgmtgrad@yahoo.com

6/7/2009 7:43:29 PM

And what with Aurora’s shortage of malls!

InigoMontoya

6/7/2009 8:18:26 PM

The same old DC whiners even complain and argue about tornado reports.

You should be proud of yourselves keeping the freak show going.

inert_gas

6/7/2009 9:16:07 PM

Why is it being called a funnel cloud and not a tornado? I saw the tornado this afternoon… amazing.

commonsense

6/7/2009 9:46:50 PM

It’s not a tornado until it touches ground. Until then, it’s a funnel cloud.I still remember this from childhood, thanks Mr. Wizard!

django

6/7/2009 9:55:15 PM

But yeah commonsense I don’t understand.They (Daily Camera) have a damn picture of it touching ground, thus a tornado and not a funnel cloud.

django

6/7/2009 9:56:57 PM

I had just left Home Depot at I-25 and Highway 7 at that time and didn’t see or hear anything.

springerwannab

6/7/2009 10:13:10 PM

Yeah the photo by Paul Aiken is clearly showing a Tornado on the ground.Too bad nobody seems to know the exact location of this event.

PCR

6/7/2009 10:30:55 PM

If tornados hit grazing steers, they are then called “tornados of beef” — occasionally we see this on restaurant menus.

grand51paul

6/7/2009 11:45:49 PM

I was at the same location as swinger and I saw it. I noticed the funnel cloud and in a matter of moments it touched down. Even saw sparks from a power line it took out.

The total event lasted 15-20 minutes.

commonsense

6/8/2009 12:21:28 AM

I am glad that you in Colorado are using up the tornado count so we won’t have them here in Oklahoma!!So far our season has been light.Again, THANKS!!

OKJoe

6/8/2009 3:25:14 AM

Yeah this one definitely touched the ground.I saw it touch, maybe twice.You could see a debris cloud, like in Paul’s picture.This looks like the one we saw from Lafayette.It was up in the Vista Ridge/Anthem area, probably between those communities and I-25.Near Huron or Sheridan.

ColoRay

6/8/2009 8:17:39 AM

WOW we must have passed right under it! Crazy!

springerwannab

6/8/2009 9:11:36 AM

grand51paul: I can’t stop laughing. Thank you!

I was up near Ward yesterday at the time all this was going on, and had a nice vantage toward the east: it was BLACK in that direction. Really ominous and beautiful. Sorta made me wish I had ventured in that direction for my photo drive.

andrewbw

6/8/2009 9:19:03 AM

OKJoe: We’re just raising ’em up for you. When they get bigger we’ll send them southeast.

blacksho89@yahoo.com

6/8/2009 9:48:03 AM

Sirens WERE on in Lafayette.On my neighbor’s police radio they said it touched down at 1-25 and Baseline, which is what Paul’s photo seems to have captured.

trrish

6/8/2009 10:00:21 AM

I’m surprised they actually did used sirens in Lafayette.With no tax base or budget, how did they pay for the electricity for them to be used?Maybe Gary was out of town, or Schultz fell asleep and hit his head on the button as it fell on the control board.

Hutch620

6/8/2009 12:09:47 PM

We were at I25 and Hwy 7 and could see the tornado very clear.No sirens went off.At home 2 miles from the tornado Dacono residents received a reverse 911 call an hour and 30 minutes later.That would have saved their lives – ha ha ha

siggy1123@hotmail.com

6/8/2009 12:11:10 PM

Hutch- Actually they are powered by solar panels and a battery, which is great in case of power outage.I realize your question wasn’t serious, though.I doubt the city has anything to do with the sirens.

ColoRay

6/8/2009 1:29:45 PM

Bulletin:Aurora mall destroyed by tornado, $10.98 in damage sustained.Film at 11

joker49

6/10/2009 12:57:21 AM

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