Prom photo accidentally captures tornado — from a safe distance

In this Saturday, May 7, 2016, photograph provided courtesy of Heidi Marintzer and taken with a mobile phone, Charlie Bator, left, and Ali Jolie Marintzer pose for a photograph before going to prom at the local high school as a tornado skips across the farmland behind the couple near Wray, Colo. A string of tornadoes bedeviled the small farming communities along the Colorado/Nebraska border Saturday as a spring storm swept across the Mid-Plains. (Photo Courtesy of Heidi Marintzer via AP)

WRAY, Colo. (AP) — Teens in the small Colorado plains community of Wray were getting ready to head to the prom when a powerful tornado clouded the picture.

The twister with winds up to 130 mph tore a path across the landscape about three miles away as seemingly everyone stopped to watch and take photos Saturday.

Clint Marintzer said his wife, Heidi, took pictures of their daughter Ali with her date Charlie Bator as the menacing tornado formed a backdrop, though a safe distance away. The image spread rapidly on social media.

The prom was briefly delayed to make sure everyone was safe.

It was the most powerful of four twisters that developed in the area about 100 miles east of Denver. There was some damage to three homes and two businesses outside of town.

The next day, Marintzer says residents pitched in to clean up tornado debris. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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