Tornado dances safely by airport
By The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 10:03 p.m.
DENVER — Radar indicated a tornado briefly touched down on Tuesday over the east runways of Denver International Airport, where thousands of people took shelter in restrooms, stairwells and other safe spots until the danger passed, officials said.
Airport spokeswoman Laura Coale reported no damage. Nine flights were diverted elsewhere during the tornado warning, which lasted about 40 minutes.
A 97-mph wind gust was measured at the airport before communication with instruments was briefly knocked out, National Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Fredin said.
Chris Polk, a construction foreman, was working on a renovation project just outside the airport's main concourse when he learned of the tornado warning at 2:15 p.m. Polk said he looked up and saw a funnel cloud. He and his crew ran inside and took shelter with about 100 people, including luggage-toting passengers, inside a basement breakroom as tornado sirens sounded.
“It got pretty crazy around here,” Polk said.
Asked whether he was nervous when he spotted the funnel cloud, he shrugged: “No, I'm from Missouri.”
Everyone inside the breakroom was calm, Polk added.
It wasn't clear how many people were at the airport when a public announcement went out about the tornado warning, but the airport averages about 145,000 passengers over the course of a day, Coale said.
Television coverage showed the airport's normally busy terminal was empty during the warning. Access to a bridge to concourse A was blocked, since the bridge is surrounded by large glass windows.
Scott Morlan said he had dropped his daughter off at the airport and was heading out when he saw an ominous cloud.
“It was just turning. You knew it was thinking about coming down,” he said.
He watched the tip of funnel cloud touch the ground and cross Pena Boulevard, which leads to the airport, before lifting into the sky.
In California, an unattended campfire near a main route into Yosemite National Park has grown into a blaze that has led to the evacuations of 800 homes and 1,500 people, officials said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Geminid meteor shower takes the stage
- NSA chief defends spying as best option
- Health care website in review, Sebelius tells House panel
- FDA to curb antibiotic use in livestock
- Sen. Alexander’s chief of staff arrested in child porn raid
- House Republicans signal support for budget deal
- Arizona officer living in U.S. illegally resigns
- Spending plan heads to House
- Pilot in San Francisco crash blames stress
- Ex-San Diego mayor, a Pittsburgh native, avoids jail in sexual harassment
- Florida congressman loses $18M in stock scheme