Rare tornado hits west of Seattle, damaging homes and trees

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Although the Pacific Northwest isn't a place known for twisters, a rare weather event caused extensive damage to an area near Seattle.  

      Amid a high-wind alert, the National Weather Service in Seattle (NWS Seattle) confirmed that a tornado touched down in Port Orchard prior to 2 p.m. on December 18. Port Orchard is located approximately 24 kilometres (15 miles) west of Seattle, across Puget Sound.

      Today (December 19), NWS is assessing the damage to determine the intensity of the tornado.

      Homes, buildings, property, and trees were damaged, including roofs ripped off and structures being crushed by fallen trees, although there were no immediate reports of injuries.

      Kitsap County stated that several areas were without power, several roads had been closed, and one area was evacuated due to a natural gas leak.  

      According to the NWS, Washington State averages two-and-a-half tornadoes per year.

      The last confirmed tornado in western area of the state occurred on March 30, 2017, near Monroe, Washington.  

      A wind warning had been issued for Metro Vancouver and B.C.'s south coast on December 17.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook