An extremely rare tornado in the Los Angeles County area caused damage to multiple buildings and left at least one person injured on Wednesday, per local officials.
Initially, the tornado—which touched down in Montebello, California—was listed as being unconfirmed. A team of experts from the National Weather Service (NWS) quickly arrived at the scene to assess the damage and other factors, later confirming that the weather event was indeed a tornado.
Per the agency’s ensuing report, the EF1 tornado was actually the strongest one to hit the Los Angeles Metro area since March 1983. The tornado was on the ground for between two and three minutes in an industrial park and warehouse district region in Montebello on Wednesday morning. A total 17 structures were confirmed to have been damaged by the tornado, with 11 of them confirmed to have sustained “significant” damage. Additionally, a power pole was destroyed with its transformer blown off, while a pine tree was also uprooted. In terms of building-related damage, NWS said that one structure incurred an almost “total roof collapse.”
The EF scale used for tornadoes, formally known as the Enhanced Fujita scale, ranges in categorized strength from EF0 (the weakest at up to 85 miles per hour) to EF5 (the strongest at more than 200 miles per hour). For this tornado, peak wind was reported to be 110 miles per hour.
Meanwhile, a suspected tornado in the Santa Barbara County city of Carpinteria on Tuesday evening has also been confirmed. That tornado has been certified as an EF0 with peak wind of 75 miles per hour. NWS said in its report that 25 mobile homes had been damaged.