A tornado tore through this northern New Mexico town Thursday, demolishing a bank, a post office and a beauty salon as well as flipping several mobile homes.
“It formed a funnel and came down and hit right in the middle of downtown,” said Beaver Segotta, general manager of the Pacific Studs lumber yard. “The bank’s gone - and the bank is made out of brick. It took the roof, parts of the walls.”
Segotta said the tornado skipped northeastward through the town, which is about midway between Taos and Raton.
“It looked like it was coming right at us, and then it picked up and went over us,” he said.
State police said six people were injured, two seriously. Five of the injured were taken to a hospital in Raton, about 60 miles east. All other residents in the town of about 800 were accounted for, police said.
“You could see all kinds of debris flying - it looked like insulation and boards flying through the air,” said Beatrice Martinez, a secretary at the Pacific Studs lumber yard. “My neighbor’s house turned upside down, their mobile home. I don’t know if they were home.”
Many telephone and power lines were down, making police communications difficult. State police in Raton and Santa Fe were responding, officers said.
State police Capt. Mike Francis said a extra medical teams and a mobile command post was en route to Cimarron late Thursday afternoon.