WRIGHT, Wyo. — Residents had just five minutes warning before a tornado tore into a mobile home park, killing two people and destroying dozens of homes.
About a dozen people were injured, but only one remained hospitalized Saturday. Three people who had been listed as missing Friday night were found safe.
The twister touched down Friday afternoon in this coal-mining town of 1,500 people about 100 miles northeast of Casper. It was on the ground an estimated 10 to 15 minutes, destroying 40 to 50 mobile homes and scattering metal siding, furniture and debris throughout the town.
'There's just nothing left'
At the site of one destroyed home, only some chairs remained standing.
“It’s just total devastation of homes. There’s just nothing left,” Campbell County Undersheriff Scott Matheny said Saturday morning. “There are some homes that weren’t even touched, but there’s camper trailers turned upside down, and there’s property and valuables strewn everywhere.”
Residents had about five minutes warning, said Jeff Rech, the county’s assistant fire chief.
“I talked to one couple and they can remember flying through the air and screaming at each other,” said Dianna Riley, nursing supervisor at Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette. “And then they woke up.”
Some residents of the park’s 183 mobile homes were luckier than others: Athena Brill pointed to broken windows as the obvious sign of damage at her home.
Tammy Gordon couldn’t find hers. The 24-year-old doesn’t remember much about the tornado, just that her boyfriend was there and it all happened so quickly.
“He said, ‘We don’t have time to get out. Get on the floor!’ I don’t even know if I hit the floor,” she said.
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