(CBS/AP) DENVER - A quarter-mile-wide tornado cut a swath across mainly open country in southeastern Wyoming, damaging homes, derailing empty train cars and leaving one person with minor injuries, officials said.
The twister was part of a powerful storm system that rolled through parts of Colorado and Wyoming Thursday afternoon and evening, packing heavy rains, high winds and hail. The storms followed a round of nasty late spring weather that pummeled the region Wednesday.
Thursday's tornado in a sparsely-populated area near Wheatland, Wyo., left five structures heavily damaged, and 10 to 12 other structures had lesser damage, said Kelly Ruiz of the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security. One of the destroyed homes was vacant, said local radio station owner Kent Smith, speaking for the Platte County Sheriff's Office.One person was treated at a hospital for a cut on the head, Smith said.
National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Emanuel said the tornado was one-quarter mile wide and stayed on the ground for much of its 20-mile path from west of Wheatland to northeast of Chugwater. The area is about 60 miles north of Cheyenne.
"It stayed pretty much over open country," Emanuel said. "It didn't hit any towns or cities."
A twister of that size and duration on the ground was unusual for Wyoming, he said.
A Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crew reported the tornado struck a stopped train near Wheatland, BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said. Five empty train cars derailed onto their sides.
Some power lines also were downed, Ruiz said.
Hail the size of golf balls was reported in the Wheatland area, and 2-inch hail was reported in Laramie, National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Trudel said.
To see video of the Wyoming tornado click on the "CBS This Morning" report in the player below.
In Colorado, a tornado was spotted near Calhan in El Paso County on Thursday night. And meteorologists were trying to confirm a report of a tornado to the north in Elbert County near Simla.
Elbert County officials reported damage to eight houses, including two that were missing roofs and others with broken windows.
CBS Station KCNC reports one person was hurt in the storm when vehicle glass was broken by golf ball-sized hail.
In El Paso County near Peterson Air Force Base 2.5-inch hail was reported.
CBS Affiliate KKTV reports the weather also downed power lines north of Calhan. The Elizabeth Fire Department says that has caused three grass fires.
Flooding was also reported at the intersection of Highway 94 and Calhan Highway.
Additionally, dozens of viewers have called or e-mailed to report broken windows on vehicles and homes.