Tornado hits Western Washington


by KING Staff and Associated Press

Posted on September 7, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 29 at 11:32 AM

Video: Rare tornado hits Western Washington

BUCKLEY, Wash. - The National Weather Service confirms wind damage in the Enumclaw area was caused by a tornado.

Meteorologist Ni Cushmeer says two people from the Seattle office inspected the scene Monday and found signs of the twisting motion, rather than a straight line wind.

"This is a pretty significant tornado," said NWS incident meteorologst Carl Cerniglia. He's taking a walking tour of the damage along with fellow meteorologist Allen Kam to determine how strong the tornado really was.

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Residents spent Labor Day cleaning up after the storm damaged homes and property. Jeff McAllister is out of a job, but he's got plenty of work to do cleaning up his home.

"I'd been praying for guidance in a job and vocation, trying to find work, and something like this happens," said McAllister.

One of the trees went through Traci Martin's bedroom window. Thankfully, she wasn't home. But the damage isn't done yet. The roof is leaking.

"Oh, it is really wet and getting all soft and mushy," said Martin.

People from Enumclaw, Buckley and Lake Tapps say they spotted the tornado.

"A twister! A twister! Is immediately what I was thinking," said witness Ashley Nichols.

Meteorologists Cerniglia and Kam are trying to determine if the twister was an F-zero or an F1 - the two weakest classifications.

We showed them , which follows?the path the tornado took, including the large barn that was destroyed.

"That kind of damage on a barn, if it's about ready to fall down, could easily be a low end F1. If it was solid, new construction, it could be a high end F1. But you really have to be on the ground," said Cerniglia.

The tornado destroyed the 92-year-old barn belonging to Art and Shriley Kaelin. The tornado crushed several vehicles under their garage, ripped metal siding off the rooftops and twisted that siding around splintered trees.

The Kaelins were out at the time and came home to see all the

"I said, 'Oh my God, barn's gone,' and Art said 'No, what happened?'" said Shirley.

Washington averages about two tornadoes per year.

About 1,300 Puget Sound Energy customers lost power, but it was mostly restored Monday morning.

No injuries were reported.