Panguitch residents capture phenomenon on camera as tornado touches down

Posted at 9:44 PM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 23:44:54-04

PANGUITCH, Utah -- The town of Panguitch is still reliving the moments a tornado touched down outside of town Friday afternoon.

The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado hit the ground around 1:30 p.m. Friday.

It's only the second tornado to hit the ground in Garfield County since 1950, the NWS reported. Many residents watched funnel clouds form in the ominous storm.

It was quite a sight for everyone who caught a glimpse of Mother Nature's power.

"I could see it swirling in the middle," Panguitch resident Michelle Zubia said.

She and her husband saw a funnel cloud as they drove south into town. She took photos and video as she watched the thin strand of cloud spin toward the ground.

"It looked like huge, white sheets and they were just turning," she said. "You could actually see it."

Zubia said she wondered it if would turn into a bull blown tornado.

"I was thinking, 'Please don't touch down! This is really odd and weird,'" Zubia recounted.

Shylo Hatch watched a funnel cloud form right above her head, from where she stood on Main Street.

"I could see it growing longer and moving closer the ground," she explained.

She took photos, not quite knowing what phenomenon she was witnessing. It wasn't until later when she did a quick Google search that Hatch said she realized she was watching the makings of a tornado.

The Garfield County Sheriff's Office said the tornado is confirmed to have hit the ground in a remote area.

"No damage, nothing like that there was related to this storm," said Sheriff Danny Perkins. "There was severe hail, and rain and lightning."

Still, the severe storm certainly left its impression, and those clouds will be the talk of the town for days to come.

"It was scary," Zubia said, adding, "but it was beautiful."