EF-1 tornado, reaching 95 mph, damages homes just miles from Williams

Just miles north of Williams in Coconino County, an EF-1 tornado swept through the area, damaging several homes, the sheriff's office said on Monday, Oct. 3.

In the Junipine Estates area, the sheriff's office, along with the National Weather Service (NWS), are working to learn what exactly happened around 12:40 p.m.

NWS says it got multiple reports of tornado damage, downed power lines and damage to homes and roofs.

"The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado ripped through the Junipine community, causing damage to between 8-10 residences. No injuries were immediately reported as the Sheriff’s Office Patrol, Detectives, and Search and Rescue divisions are responding, along with regional public safety resources. Life and property assessments are being evaluated at this time. Further information will be released as it becomes available," the sheriff's office said.

NWS released more information on the tornado, saying it reached at least 95 mph.

"Our survey team has confirmed an EF-1 tornado affected the Junipine Estates community, just north of Williams, earlier this afternoon. Numerous structures and trees were damaged due to winds up to 100mph," the agency said.

If you were impacted by the tornado and need services, the county is offering help at a Red Cross shelter located at 636 South 7th St. in Williams, Arizona.

‘Freak accident’

A resident in the area, Duane Dettmann, says, "It’s kind of a freak accident, you know? One of those things that just happens. I had no idea about what had happened, I just thought the wind storm came through. I walk out and see the devastation and as you guys are saying, it’s pretty incredible."

The quiet mountain community of Junipine Estates is now left picking up the pieces after the tornado ripped through.

Dettmann was just feet away.

"You can see where it actually knocked down the block wall, snapped a bunch of trees off of my neighbor's yard, knocked the telephone pole and broke it in two," he said.

The rain, hail and eventual tornado downed power lines, bent stop signs, and left at least ten homes damaged. Some lifted off their foundation and moved several feet. Fortunately, there were no injuries.

Brian Telfer has damage to his garage, windows, shed, and is left without water. Over in the yard, his RV was completely flipped over.

"Things all blown over, and trash all over and everything else," he said, adding that first responders were very helpful. "They came out to make sure everybody was OK first, and then you know, started taking pictures and checking things out making sure there was no fire or anything going. I thought it was a good response."

Dettmann says the community will make it through together.

"Williams, especially this area, is really a community, and that’s kind of one thing i really like about Williams. It’s a small community and people work together," he said.


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