A Washington tornado topped off a weekend of heavy rainfall and damaging winds, striking north of Seattle and damaging several buildings.
The tornado struck at 7:20 am in an area of Frederickson where there are a number of factories. The tornado knocked out windows at a Boeing factory and damaged a building where some parts for a tunnel project in Seattle were being stored.
Some of the worst damage came at a Northwest Door factory, where the tornado tore a hole in the roof.
“It looked from the inside like a wave going along. You could actually see the roof flexing,” Northwest Door President Jeff Hohman told The Associated Press.
At the tent-like structure where pieces for the tunnel project were being assembled, the tornado tore apart a metal garage and forced work to stop.
The Weather Service office in Seattle surveyed the damage on Monday and certified based on witnesses that it was in fact a tornado that struck the area. The tornado was 75 yards wide, with winds that reached 110 miles per hour.
Washington only gets one or two tornadoes a year, and for the most part they are small and cause little damage.
The Washington tornado was part of a storm that dumped as much rain in the weekend as the area normally gets in an entire month.
The storm came at the end of one of the wettest months on record in the Northwest. In Olympia, there were eight inches of rain in September, the most of all time and more than four times the 1.7 inch average for the month. Sea-Tac Airport saw 5.6 inches while Portland had 6.2, both records
“We basically had conditions well off shore that were very reminiscent of late fall-early winter,” said Dana Felton, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Seattle.
The Washington tornado wasn’t the only extreme weather the storm brought. The system brought in the first significant snowfall of the season to the higher elevations, with 6-12 inches expected in the Olympics by Tuesday morning and 10-20 inches in the Cascades.