Storms knock out power, uproot trees in Denver |

Storms knock out power, uproot trees in Denver

DENVER, Colorado – More than 29,000 homes and businesses were without electricity Tuesday morning after thunderstorms and a weak tornado battered the Denver area with high winds, heavy rain and hail.

The storms Monday night left broken windows, downed power lines and uprooted trees, but only minor injuries were reported.

Trees and power lines were still blocking streets in suburban Wheat Ridge on Tuesday morning. Fences were blown down, and debris littered streets, said Wheat Ridge police spokeswoman Lisa Spigall.

“It was a winter scene earlier today,” she said, with leaves scattered about.

She said no one had to be hospitalized, with most of the injuries from broken glass. No significant structural damage to houses was reported.

Spigall said the hail was pea-sized and larger, “but it came down with such force that it smashed everything it came in contact with.”

Xcel Energy said 50,000 customers were without electricity at the peak of the blackout, and some residents woke up to no power, said Tom Henley, a spokesman for the utility. He said Excel hoped to finish restoring electricity by 11 p.m.

A state Department of Motor Vehicles office in suburban Lakewood didn’t open Tuesday morning because it had no power. With traffic lights out, Spigall said officers were directing traffic at three of Wheat Ridge’s biggest intersections.

The National Weather Service said a tornado touched down in the southwest Denver area shortly after 11 p.m. Monday. No damage was reported.

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