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Tornado that turned over Strawberry Reservoir has many people talking

STRAWBERRY RESERVOIR, Utah – Kyle Roland isn’t sure how many times he has made the drive from his home in Orem to Vernal and back.

“A lot,” he said with a smile on Tuesday.

However, he does know he’ll most likely never have a trip like the one he had Monday afternoon.

“This was, like, a once in a lifetime thing,” said Roland.

He, his wife, and kids were heading home after spending the Memorial Day weekend with his family in Vernal.

As Highway 40 takes you around a corner near Strawberry Reservoir, it’s usually a relief to see something other than sagebrush and desert landscapes.

It’s just Roland never expected to see a tornado.

Or, water spout, in this case because the funnel cloud was over water.

“My wife was like, ‘Oh my gosh, look at that!’ and I was dealing with kids, and I looked out the window and saw all this water getting sucked up and I was like, ‘Pull over!’” Roland exclaimed.

He said he watched for about 15 minutes as the water spout moved across the surface of the water, jumped up over Highway 40, and then touched down again once it hit land on the other side of the road, turning it into a tornado.

Roland took video of it, and he wasn’t the only one.

“Traffic was really, really slow. People were stopping,” he said. “It was almost like you were in Yellowstone, and there was a bear. Everybody was pulling off, taking pictures, and then continuing on. It was unique. We stayed and watched it as long as we could.”

Roland says his kids loved watching it, but got a little nervous when hail started pelting the top of their vehicle causing some minor dents.

Kyle Roland

He’s checking to see if insurance will cover the damage.

Even if it doesn’t, Roland says he’s overjoyed to see something he’s pretty sure he’ll never see again in person.

“It was exciting. It was like, this is a really cool thing that Mother Nature is putting on, and we get to see it,” he said. “We usually see deer and elk, yay that’s cool, but tornado, water spout, that was pretty sweet.”

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