Boysen Tornado Topples And Flattens Campers, Marina Says

The Boysen Marina management announced late Friday that a tornado crashed across the lake that afternoon, downing power lines, toppling and flattening campers, but only causing minor injuries.

Clair McFarland

May 27, 20232 min read

Boysen wreckage dave patterson
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A tornado grated across Boysen lake Friday afternoon, toppling four campers and flattening one, according to a statement by Boysen Marina management.

“A power pole (broke) in two with the transformer and lines down. A dock was thrown through a window. Shade covers thrown. All our power at the marina was out,” reads the statement.

Other lake-goers posted about the event as well, including photos. The marina’s page says there were “only minor injuries.”

Noah Myers, meteorologist for Riverton’s National Weather Service office, told Cowboy State Daily in that someone from the office would visit the lake Saturday to review the damage.

“We’re not sure if it was a tornado or just some straight-line wind damage,” said Myers, adding that a powerful thunderstorm with strong winds swept through the northeastern side of the like at about 4 p.m. Friday.

The marina’s statement thanks Dave Patterson – a Thermopolis man who also posted about the event – and his wife Laura for lending their smaller generators to help with the power crisis, as well as the local Jadeco Electric.

“All kinds of wonderful people came over to volunteer to help,” reads the statement. It really warms my heart.”

Neither the marina nor Patterson, nor the Boysen State Park office immediately responded Saturday to requests for additional comment.

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office told Cowboy State Daily the State Park rangers handled the incident and dispatch did not send ambulances.

  • Boysen tornado 4 5 27 23
    (Cowboy State Daily Staff)
  • Boysen tornado 3
    (Cowboy State Daily Staff)
  • Boysen tornado 2 5 26 23
    (Cowboy State Daily Staff)
  • Boysen tornado 1 5 26 23
    (Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Cold Air Rushing Down

Microburst winds also can cause furious windspeeds, Bill Gordon, Hot Springs County Emergency Managment director told Cowboy State Daily on Saturday. He said wind microbursts are as likely a culprit for Boysen as a tornado.

"The storm will carry cold air up, up, up and up until it can't go up anymore, then it comes barreling down," he said. "And when it hits the ground it just starts spreading out across the ground, and the winds can hit 100 miles per hour easily."

Gordon said that phenomenon is common. The National Weather Service on Saturday will have to look through the wreckage to determine which way the winds flew Friday, he added.

"It’s like a crime scene investigation," he said.

This story will be updated as more details emerge.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter