Bellemont tornadoes, five years later
BELLEMONT, Ariz. (KSAZ) - It's been five years since disaster struck in Northern Arizona. At least four tornadoes hit the town of Bellemont 5-years-ago. The storms left behind a ton of damage, and now we're getting a look at the town five years later.
The images are hard to forget; cars destroyed, hundreds of houses damaged in Bellemont. Some homes were condemned after the roofs were torn off by the powerful storms.
"Look at that hill up there, that is where the tornado jumped over, so it took all of those trees out and just kept going north," said Terry Fallon.
Fallon is a five-year resident of Bellemont. He moved in just after the tornadoes hit; he says a lot of households that were hit hard by the storms have moved away.
"I still remember the first Halloween, it was completely dark around here, there were no lights. Obviously nobody had their porch lights on. Seven kids came up and left, and that was it, and last year I stopped counting after 145 kids, I thought ok we're back on track," he said.
But not everything was cleaned up after the storm. Patrick Thiel says there are still signs that the tornadoes were there.
"Quite a bit of evidence, not only in the backwoods, larger pieces that have been carried as far as two miles away, gutters and the like, but I'm still finding bits of shingles in my backyard and so forth. There's a lot of debris still back in the woods," said Fallon.
Many residents found a way to move on.
"I think once it was all built back up, everybody kind of took a big sigh of relief, and it was like ok, now we gotta get moving forward," he said.
There was a lot of damage caused by the storms, but thankfully no one was seriously injured.