2 minor tornadoes touch down in Carson-Compton area, damaging buildings and vehicles

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Friday, May 5, 2023
2 tornadoes touch down in Carson-Compton area, NWS confirms
Two tornadoes touched down Thursday in Carson and Compton, damaging vehicles and buildings, and toppling a large tree.

CARSON, Calif. (KABC) -- Two minor tornadoes touched down Thursday morning in the Carson and Compton area, damaging vehicles and buildings and toppling at least one large tree, officials said.

The National Weather Service says the first tornado, rated a relatively weak EF0, hit around 8:45 a.m. in the area near Avalon Boulevard and E. Walnut Street, following a "concentrated short path of minor damage to a couple of buildings, vehicle damage from debris, and tree damage."

It was estimated to have winds swirling up to 75 mph.

About 10 minutes later, the NWS said, another EF0 tornado hit nearby in Compton near Greenleaf Boulevard and S. Santa Fe Avenue.

"The tornado produced a very narrow path of minor damage including a downed power line, tarps torn from a nursery, minor roof damage to a home, downed small tree limbs, and siding damage to a couple of homes."

The second tornado had winds estimated up to 65 mph and it lasted about four minutes.

In the morning the NWS had only identified only a single tornado but later issued an update indicating two separate events.

Tornado strength is measured by an enhanced F-scale rating from EF0 to EF5, which considers 28 different types of damage to structures and trees. An EF2 or higher is considered a significant tornado.

No injuries were reported Thursday.

A brief tornado touched down in the area of Carson and Compton, damaging vehicles and multiple building, and toppling at least one large tree, officials said.

Ernie Abundis, who had been working on the roof of the Target store at the Gateway Towne Center, captured unbelievable footage of the tornado on his phone.

"I felt the wind and it was one of those situations where it was too quick to react, and I braced for impact," he told Eyewitness News during an interview on Thursday. "Being a SoCal resident, I didn't even want to call it a tornado right away. I was like, 'No way this is happening,' it actually ended up being one."

He said it even cut off the power to the store.

"Sure enough, it caught the power lines and killed the power to Target and a couple other places. Definitely a wild experience. I wasn't expecting it," he said. "Experiencing that, I can't even imagine a category 5, 6 level tornado because it is absolutely insane."

Video from AIR7 HD showed two commercial buildings with significant holes in their roofs in the 16900 block of Carson Street. Meanwhile, crews were working to remove a fallen tree on a nearby sidewalk.

Video from AIR7 HD showed the extent of the damage wrought by a rare tornado that ripped through an industrial area of Montebello.

About a mile east of that location, several holes were seen in the roof of a sprawling commercial building on Artesia Boulevard.

The totality of the damage, however, did not appear as extensive as the destruction left by a confirmed tornado that occurred in Montebello last March.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.