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Colorado hailstorms severely damage several towns, kill horses and cattle

Eastern Colorado residents reeling from immense damage from tennis ball-sized hail
Eastern Colorado residents reeling from immense damage from tennis ball-sized hail 02:21

A strong hailstorm late Monday night in eastern Colorado caused significant damage to many homes and businesses.

Severe weather brings 4 inch hail, flooding on Eastern Plains: See CBS News Colorado team coverage 15:41

The storm, which most significantly hit the towns of Yuma and Wray, dropped hail on the individual communities for around 30 minutes each, some say.

"The sky looked funny," Paula Pariset, a longtime resident of Yuma, said.

Pariset and her husband Steve said they heard the tornado sirens go off before the storm arrived.

"They had a tornado warning at first. As soon as it was over, we thought it was done with and got upstairs. And then it really cut loose, the hail," Steve said.

"We were sitting in our basement holding onto our pets," Paula said. "We heard the glass breaking upstairs."

The couple said they felt they needed to go upstairs to block the windows that were broken to prevent further damage from the wind and rain.

"We came upstairs and started holding down a curtain to prevent the glass from flying so far and listened to the glass fall for 30 minutes," Steve said.

Hail and floodwaters filled the streets in Yuma. CBS

To their east in Wray, the storm caused significant damage to businesses and churches.

"Last night, a hailstorm came through and took out every west-facing window in town. Siding, roofs, it's been a crazy time," said Mike Harms, owner of Wray Lumber Company.

Harms opened his business to help people board up their homes and companies.

"We opened at 11 o'clock last night. We were here until 2, 2:30 last night," Harms said.

As the sun came out people from both towns were able to finally see how widespread the damage was.

"Oh my gosh. It was Armageddon," Paula said.

Though the damage meant a big boost in sales for Harms, he said this is the type of business he never wants.

"Around 1,200 sheets of plywood have went out of my place today," Harms said.

The community reported livestock being killed in the hailstorm, and at least one horse was seen deceased on the side of the highway in Yuma.

Though the storms caused significant damage to homes, property, cars and more, those CBS News Colorado spoke with said the region would quickly come together to bounce back.

"Everybody works together in a small town," Steve Pariset said. 

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