3 tornadoes tear across N. Arizona, damage homes

BELLEMONT, Ariz. — Two tornadoes touched down in northern Arizona early today, derailing 28 cars of a parked freight train, blowing semis off the highway and smashing out the windows of dozens of homes. A third touched down later, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The first tornado hit Bellemont — west of Flagstaff — around 5:30 a.m. today and the second touched down east of the small community a short time later. The third was reported along Interstate 17 just south of Flagstaff around noon.

Fifteen homes in Bellemont were so badly damaged that they were uninhabitable and the estimated 30 people who lived in them were evacuated. Authorities were setting up a shelter at midmorning, said Coconino County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Gerry Blair.


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