Five Tornadoes Touch Down Near Denver,
Some Flights Diverted
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[May 22, 2014]
By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - Five tornadoes touched
down on Wednesday in the Denver area accompanied by icy hail, forcing
the city's airport to divert dozens of flights although no damage was
immediately reported, officials said.
Denver-area residents rushed for cover as three twisters hit the
eastern suburb of Aurora within a half-hour period, while two more
touched down in nearby areas, said meteorologist Jim Kalina of the
National Weather Service's Boulder office.
A tornado watch for Denver was scheduled to remain in effect until 8
p.m. local time (10.00 p.m. ET), the Weather Service said. But
Kalina was not expecting any more tornadoes.
"Denver's kind of in the clear right now unless something else
develops," he said.
Denver is not considered to be part of the so-called tornado alley,
the region stretching from Texas to South Dakota that accounts for
roughly a fourth of all U.S. tornadoes, but the metropolitan area
gets several twisters a year.
The second half of May to early June, when winds often cross each
other in the region, is the peak time for tornadoes in the Denver
area, said Weather Service meteorologist Scott Entrekin.
Officials at Denver International Airport diverted 40 flights as a
result of the tornado threat, said airport spokesman Heath
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The airport's Twitter page showed a photo of dozens of construction
workers taking shelter in a garage at the facility, and Montgomery
said airlines were assessing potential storm damage to their planes.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis;
Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Shumaker)
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