No initial reports of injuries from tornado

Campbell County experienced some wild weather today. Once the Emergency Broadcast System had relayed its information and things calmed down a bit, Campbell County Emergency Management Coordinator David King, was able to make some time for an initial assessment.

King said a Campbell County Sheriff's deputy witnessed a tornado touch down south of Gillette. King said that radio call was made about 4:55 pm. King said the location was east of Mile Marker 19 on Highway 50. At the time of his interview there were no reports of injuries, some structures were damaged, initial information is that they were not inhabited structures.

King said things got rolling while he was monitoring a thunderstorm system that was building near Kaycee this afternoon. At about 3 PM authorities in Campbell County began to monitor the system from the Emergency Operations Center at the Campbell County Sheriff's Office.  As the system moved north toward Savageton, the national Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. A deputy was positioned in the area. The deputy observed a funnel cloud which eventually touched down. 

King said that as the tornado crossed about 2 miles east of Hwy 50 on the Hayden road, the tornado struck some buildings on a ranch. The buildings received some damage. As of 6:15 this evening King believed the only buildings damaged were part of an old homestead. A power line in the area was also knocked down. King said a vehicle had reportedly hydroplaned and crashed during the storm Thursday evening on Bishop Road. At the time of his interview at 6:15 PM, he did not believe the crash resulted in a serious injury.

King said his decision to not set off emergency sirens in Gillette was based on a 10 mile threshold he set.  He said the storm seemed to be weakening as it approached Gillette, and there were no further reports of funnel clouds or tornadoes within that 10-mile threshold.

“There is no need to set off sirens if the area being threatened is not being served by the sirens. In this case, we didn't feel the threat moved into Gillette where the sirens would have been effective, so there was no need to send people running for cover. As it turned out, that was the correct assessment.” --- King

Photo courtesy of Darcy Hanson and Denise Roush 19 miles south of town
Filed Under :
Location : Campbell CountyHwy
People : David KingMile Marker
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