FLAGSTAFF - American Red Cross disaster teams went door-to-door Thursday through this tiny northern northern Arizona community heavily damaged by rare twin tornadoes a day earlier.
Volunteers were assessing damage and providing food, work gloves and comfort kits to residents of Bellemont, just west of Flagstaff. Workers with the state Department of Emergency Services were conducting a thorough assessment of the damage.
The twister damaged about 200 homes in the small town of several hundred residents, and 33 homes were destroyed or uninhabitable, Coconino County Sheriff's spokesman Gerry Blair said.
Blair described the spectrum of damage as "on the low end maybe some siding blown off or possibly a window broken, and on the high end where the house is totally destroyed."
The swarm of tornadoes also destroyed dozens of recreational vehicles at an RV sales lot and toppled more than two dozen train cars. No major injuries were reported, but six people were slightly hurt.
Nearly two dozen tornado warnings were issued for the northern Arizona region on Wednesday, National Weather Service meteorologist George Howard said. Four were confirmed to have touched down, but weather radar showed many more twisters likely formed but weren't confirmed.
That number matched the average yearly total for conformed twisters in the state.
In Bellemont, residents picked through their wrecked homes and tried to salvage what they could.
Across Interstate 40 at Camping World, RVs were tossed around like cordwood.
"One was actually blown out of the RV yard, across I-40 and into the median," said Blair, who toured the area Thursday morning. "And there are RVs that are upside down, end on end, its quite a devastating sight."
More than two dozen cars of a Burlington Northern-Santa Fe freight train tossed off the tracks had been cleared and freights were again running on Thursday, Blair said.
Officials say United Way of Northern Arizona has established the Bellemont Tornado Fund to assist residents impacted by the recent tornadoes and to help restore the Bellemont community.
Anyone who wishes to donate is asked to contact UWNA at (928) 773-9813. Donations can also be made through the UWNA website at www.nazunitedway.org .
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