A rare tornado swept through the Montebello area today, heavily damaging nearly a dozen buildings and an unknown number of vehicles, while leaving one person with minor injuries.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the tornado—the strength of which has not yet been measured—hit around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday. The storm was focused generally in the area of Washington Boulevard and Vail Avenue, in a largely industrial district.
Officials said the tornado developed fairly quickly as a strong storm cell pushed its way through the area. One person suffered minor injuries, according to the Montebello Fire Department.
Fire officials said city inspectors examined 17 buildings in the tornado-affected area, and 11 of them were red-tagged, or marked unsuitable for occupation.
Cell phone video from the area showed portions of rooftops being ripped away from buildings, and other debris swirling in a circular pattern in the air. Other videos showed a funnel-like cloud forming above the area as rooftops were ripped away.
Additional video from the aftermath showed multiple vehicles in the parking lot of an affected building with heavy damage, including shattered windows and body damage from flying debris. Some vehicles appeared to have rear bumpers ripped away.