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Twister damages Ventura neighborhoods

January 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A fierce wind has damaged two neighborhoods in the city of Ventura and witnesses believe it was a tornado. On one street a corrugated steel roof was torn off a barn. The sharp pieces of steel went into Dave Harvey's mom's yard. The 76-year-old woman was fortunately inside.

"Luckily nobody was out there because I was looking out the garage window and it had to be going by at 90 mph," said Harvey. "It wasn't a really distinct one, like the ones you see back east, but it was swirling. I told my mom to hang on because I thought the roof was coming off."

The force of the wind was so strong a piece of wood went through a piece of fiber glass like it was butter. Fortunately, no pieces of steel or wood hit anybody.

"It was like a wall that went by window. I couldn't even see my fence that was 6 feet outside the window," said Harvey.

"All you saw was debris going by. It was like a white wall went by and in two seconds," said Ventura resident Imen Dight.

According to residents, police and fire officials there is no doubt that they saw the effects of a tornado.

"They said it was like a freight train coming through the school and neighborhood. This wasn't a little one," said Sgt. Jack Richards, Ventura Police Department.

In the barn there was a pickup truck that was almost crushed, but it was missed by just a few inches. On another street there was a car that was flipped into a tree.

One resident in the area loss part of her shed after it was blown through a wooden fence and was impaled onto another fence.

"It didn't really touch any of the plants around it. It just lifted it up and my table is on the other side of the fence over there in the strawberry field," said Ventura resident Cindy Cardoza. "I was at work and my neighbor's called me and told me there was a tornado and I didn't believe her. Then I came home and saw the destruction."

Several boats were knocked off trailers, as well.

There were no reports of injuries.