By Maria Medina
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — National Weather Service (NWS) investigators scoured the area where it’s confirmed three tornadoes touched down. They’re trying to determine just how many twisters actually occurred.
Investigators are trying to confirm an eyewitness account of seven tornadoes that touched down on Wednesday. They’re looking at evidence like gaps between damage, and whether or not one tornado stayed on the ground or dissipated then re-formed.
“By God, stuff was just flying,” said Albert Ashton, who witnessed the tornadoes.
Tornadoes in California normally last a few minutes, but for some inexplicable reason, on Wednesday these lasted longer – a lot longer.
“One was about an hour and 40 minutes, and one was about an hour and 20,” said Kathy Hoxsie, a NWS investigator.
Pointing to a damaged area, Kathy says: “These were the tracks of the two tornadoes that we had confirmed.”
All signs point to two EF-1 tornadoes that formed outside of Willows. One dissipated outside of Chico, and the other ended in Durham where the twister uprooted more than 5,000 almond trees. In total, the storm caused $1 million in damage.
The third twister formed outside of Oroville, destroying a four-car garage and even carrying the family dog as Albert could only watch.
“I’m lucky I’m alive,” said Albert.
The damage is so widespread that it’s leaving the NWS in awe.
“That’s the most unusual part of this entire event: how long those tornadoes were on the ground. That just doesn’t happen in California very often,” said Kathy.
It could take months, or even years, to solve the mystery of this unusual storm.