At least seven tornadoes touched down in eastern Colorado Sunday, and the FAA stopped flights from coming into Denver International Airport due to severe weather for several hours Sunday evening.
Denver International Airport was put under an inbound ground stop at 4:30 p.m., said airport spokeswoman Alex Renteria. Heavy hail briefly pelted the airport and strong wind sheers made it unsafe to land planes.
The ground stop was canceled shortly before 8:30 p.m.
The FAA has cancelled the ground stop for arriving flights. Delays are expected as we get back to normal operations.— Denver Int'l Airport (@DENAirport) May 27, 2019
One passenger tweeted about how his plane was diverted to Colorado Springs.
Diverted to Csprings mid storm. 777 felt like it was going to split apart. Passengers throwing up everywhere. @united staff on flight UA314 are exceptional people. Helping out left and right currently. pic.twitter.com/Udl6dl5Gaj— Tyler Michael (@Twe3zyBaby) May 26, 2019
Other passengers reported being stuck in planes at the Colorado Springs Airport.
So what does that mean for those of us stuck on our plane in Colorado Springs? Been here for over two and a half hours waiting for an update— Crizzlet (@_Crizzlet) May 27, 2019
@united wow! My diabetic niece has sat on the tarmac for 4 hours in Colorado Springs UA314. Please help!— Niccole Ostrom (@niccoleostrom) May 27, 2019
Should be back in Iowa by now...Instead, we’re stuck in a plane in Colorado Springs after not being able to land in Denver due to tornados. People were vomiting there was so much turbulence and people were having medical emergencies on the plane...it’s been a jolly time 😭— Breanne Ulloa (@UlloaBreanne) May 27, 2019
@united Been stuck in a plane on the tarmac in Colorado Springs for two hours. People are having medical emergencies and it’s taken over an hour for medics to arrive. Only one shuttle with a 10 person capacity getting people off. Unacceptable United.— Kumiko (@Kumikoisherenow) May 27, 2019
Severe activity fired up first in southeastern Colorado, according to Randy Gray, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo. A spotter reported a tornado about 8 miles south of McClave in Bent County at about 2:54 p.m. Another tornado touched down at 2:38 p.m. 3 miles northeast Wiley, which is in northwestern Prowers County. A third tornado came down 4 miles south of Eads at 4:10 p.m.
That breakout was followed by four more tornadoes in northeastern Colorado. The first, reported at 4:38 p.m., was located one mile northwest of Keenesburg in Weld County. Another hit the ground at 5:37 p.m. 2 miles northeast of Watkins in Adams County. A tornado was reported on the ground a minute later 6 miles northwest of Roggen in Weld County.
Most were short-lived but a tornado spotted at 6:08 p.m. about 5 miles southeast of Hugo in Lincoln County spent 10 minutes on the ground, Gray said. As with the other tornadoes, it ran through open fields.
A couple shots of the #tornado north of #Lamar, Colorado 4 hours ago. First one is the initial touchdown (was reported) and second is the rope-out. #stormchasing #cowx @WesHydukeDTN @DTNWeather @StormHour @USTornadoes #weather pic.twitter.com/faOg2sLYpq— Brad Nelson (@Brad_nado) May 27, 2019
“There was no damage or injuries,” Gray said.
Several areas reported large hail. Springfield, in the southeast corner of the state, was hit with 2.5-inch diameter hail, large enough to damage crops and vehicles. Hail larger than 3 inches in diameter was reported in the area of Denver International Airport.
Kiowa, Cheyenne, Weld, Arapahoe, Adams and Kit Carson counties all faced tornado warnings during the afternoon and into the evening. Cheyenne County was under a flash flood warning through 7:15 p.m. due to heavy rains.
Campers and boaters in the eastern part of the state, out to enjoy the holiday weekend, were a particular area of concern, due to a lack of shelter, said Jennifer Stark, a meteorologist with NWS Pueblo.
A tornado watch remains in effect until 9 p.m. Sunday for Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Las Animas, Otero, Prowers and Yuma counties.
A separate tornado watch lasting through 10 p.m. covers Adams, Arapahoe, Denver, Elbert, Lincoln, Morgan, Washington and Weld counties.
The Gazette contributed to this report.