Derecho storm causes major damage in Moffat County |

Derecho storm causes major damage in Moffat County

Maddy Hughes / Craig Press
A tree was ripped out of the ground Saturday afternoon by the derecho storm that moved through Craig and Moffat County.
Courtesy Photo

Craig was one of many locations to suffer damage from Colorado’s unprecedented derecho storm Saturday afternoon. The derecho storm, a rare wind storm with rapidly moving showers, knocked down trees at Yampa Valley Golf Course and caused damage to homes in the area.

The storm began with a trough of low pressure that moved through the region and came ashore from the southwest coast of the US, according to Scott Stearns, a staff member at National Weather Service in Grand Junction

“Then it moved to the northeast and approached us, moved to the Great Basin and continued on northeast. As a matter of fact there were more severe damaging winds yesterday (Sunday) in areas of the Dakotas. The strong winds in the upper to mid part of the atmosphere certainly aided the storm, not only in their motions northeast but some of the winds actually dipped down near the surface and that created strong gusts in places associated with a pretty wide swath all the way from roughly the Utah/ Colorado border down to Monticello. Some places with higher elevation were spared,” Stearns said.

The weather forecast does not predict any similar storms for the foreseeable future.

“What happened was an exceedingly rare event,” Stearns said. “In fact that’s the first one that’s crossed the continental divide in recorded history.” Stearns noted that we do have some winter weather coming into the central part of the state, but there will only be accumulation “above 9,000 feet or so.” 

Debbie Montgomery, owner and agent for Farmers Insurance in Craig, has been busy helping with the storm’s damage to homes since it happened.

“Today was quite busy, we’ve had a few homes with roof damage. Over the weekend I expressed on Facebook (that any of my clients with damage) should please contact me,” Montgomery said. “I did turn in a few claims over the weekend and went over to help someone who’s not even my client to help them clean up the mess. He was a neighbor that had the most damage, his roof got ripped completely off. There must have been 50 people (neighbors and friends) that came together and moved his furniture and all his belongings out. Because it ripped his roof off, there was insulation everywhere. It was like a tornado. That was the extent of a lot of the weekend, and Saturday afternoon I got phone calls and texts from other clients (saying) that I needed to turn claims in for them. I went to visit another client who’s on oxygen to take pictures of his damage for him.”

The storm also knocked over a few trees along Yampa Valley Golf Course

For the most part, cleanup from the damage has been completed in Moffat County from the first-ever derecho storm to cross the continental divide.

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