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Deadly tornado hit downtown Salt Lake 15 years ago

(Ignacio S. Sanchez Jr.)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Monday marks the 15th anniversary of a destructive tornado that tore through downtown Salt Lake.

The F-2 level tornado that hit just after noon on Aug. 11, 1999, killed one person, injured many others and caused millions of dollars in damage.

The tornado moved from 1300 West and 400 South to the Capitol, Memory Grove and finally the Avenues and damaged more than 300 buildings and homes — 34 were destroyed. High winds ripped hundreds of trees from the ground in Memory Grove and the Capitol grounds. Power poles toppled and streets were littered with debris.

High winds shattered windows and tore off part of the roof at the EnergySolutions Arena. Next door at the Wyndham Hotel, now called the Radisson, the storm blew out windows as it moved through downtown. It also toppled a huge crane working on the Conference Center.

The 10-minute event left a trail of rubble, killed Allen Crandy at the Outdoor Retailers Convention and injured others.

Between 1950 and 2005, the National Weather Service has documented 121 tornadoes in Utah. None caused as much damage as the 1999 event.

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Janelle Hanson

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