Dramatic Images: Dozens of homes severely damaged, destroyed by Washington Terrace tornado

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Nancy Van Valkenburg

WASHINGTON TERRACE, Utah, Sept 23, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) Authorities are continuing to assess the damage in the wake of Thursday’s tornado in Washington Terrace.

Weber County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Nate Hutchinson told Gephardt Daily “several dozen homes suffered severe damage with at least 12 suffering extensive damage and making them uninhabitable at this time.”

A number of the hardest hit areas are still considered dangerous due to the debris and downed power lines.

The price tag for the disaster is expected to be in the millions of dollars. Clean up is anticipated to take several days.

The latest press release from the Weber County Sheriff’s Office is as follows:

“On 9-22-16 at 15:52 hours the Weber Consolidated Dispatch Center became flooded with calls reporting that a tornado had touched down in several areas throughout Washington Terrace City.”

It appears that the tornado started in the southwest section of the city and preceded northeast, causing damage throughout the city. Several blocks near 5000 S. Ridgeline Drive, as well as the 4600 South block of 200 East, were the hardest hit.

Deputies arrived on scene and immediately began searching the homes and assisting with evacuating the area due to downed power lines, broken gas lines and water flooding the area.

The damage was extensive as trees had been toppled into homes, roofs had been completely removed from homes and cars had been moved. Several residents in the hardest hit areas suffered minor injuries from broken glass and flying debris, but no severe injuries were reported.

Response teams were organized to systematically searched each residence for injured people. In all, 436 homes along with 24 apartment complexes were assessed and cleared. Washington Terrace Fire, Riverdale Fire, South Ogden Fire, Weber County Fire, Uintah City Fire, South Weber Fire and Morgan Fire along with the Riverdale Police Department assisted with searching and evacuating the area.

The timing of the tornado was difficult as several areas schools had just been released. An evacuation and reunification point was established at the Washington Terrace Senior Center with assistance from the Red Cross.

The hardest hit areas are closed as the area is still unsafe. Dozens of extra deputies were called in to secure the area and to patrol throughout the night and following days.

Bonneville High School, T. H. Bell Jr High, Washington Terrace Elementary and Roosevelt Elementary will all be closed on 9-23-16 as a result of damage in the area.

Homes will be assessed by the Washington Terrace Building Inspector. It is anticipated that it will take several days to clean the area and the damage estimates are in the millions of dollars.

Area residents are asked to be mindful of any suspicious activity and to report it immediately to law enforcement. The local dispatch number is 801-629-8221.


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