Panguitch tornado confirmed as EF-1 by National Weather Service

Posted at 10:08 AM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-24 12:15:29-04

PANGUITCH, Utah -- Tornadoes are rare in Utah, so, for many people in Panguitch, seeing a twister for the second time within a month’s span was a shock

"My daughter called and said a tornado hit our house, and I didn't believe her until she started screaming about her car—yeah, and then I started believing," Homeowner Than Cooper said.

The damage was caused by a tornado with winds up to 110 miles per hour. Thankfully, no one in Panguitch was hurt.

"A great relief and blessing that if it had to touch down, it touched down here,” said John Yardley, a local business owner. “Subway was full of people, over across the street Flying M full of people.”

The EF1 tornado ripped through Yardley’s building, tearing off the roof and sending debris everywhere.

“With the power that it hit, it snapped off the power line back there and caused a fire to begin,” Yardley said. “If there had been people around it could have been very tragic.”

And though no one was inside the offices, there were still at least 30 truckloads of debris lying around, and that’s where the community stepped in.

“They just came and went to work and the school kids, the high school kids, all came out and they helped us, they helped the Coopers and on down the Moores," Yardley said.

Hundreds of people showed up to donate their time and effort, some with heavy machinery.

“And it's just amazing,” Cooper said. “I expected three or four days, and they did it in three or four hours: They did everything.”

Because while tornadoes that cause damage might be rare here in Panguitch, these folks say that taking care of your neighbor isn’t.

“And I feel uh, great deal of gratitude,” Yardley said. “You know, these are good people, good hearts.”