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Elk Grove Tornado Ran Underneath The Radar

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ELK GROVE (CBS13) – There was little time to prepare before a tornado dropped out of the sky in Elk Grove and tore through a neighborhood Monday, damaging dozens of homes.

The National Weather Service didn’t issue a tornado warning and the twister was over almost as quickly as it started.
CBS13’s Ian Schwartz went to the Clarke Farms area of Elk Grove on Tuesday for the aftermath.

We couldn’t see the tornado on radar, but you couldn’t miss it if you were there Monday at 5. The tornado threw down fences and tossed heavy objects into the air.

It popped out quickly from the storm clouds above Elk Grove and made quick work of the homes in the neighborhood.

“I thought a helicopter was going over,” resident Don Johnson said. “It comes over periodically.”

It was a tornado that plucked shingles off Johnson’s roof and knocked over the large tree in his front yard.
More than 50 homes were hit as the twister carved through the neighborhood, leaving a mile-long path of damage.

Bill Rasch is with the National Weather Service. His team confirmed the touchdown of a tornado nearly impossible to spot on radar.

“They can go up and down very quickly,” he said. “A lot of times, unfortunately, the tornadoes around here are very small in diameter. This one was probably 500 feet or less, and it is very difficult for radars to pick up on that.”

Even if radar got a clear view of this tornado, it was over just about as fast as it started, lasting no more than a few minutes.

But that short time was certainly long enough for quite a scare. The fear subsided but the cleanup continued Tuesday.

“It’s a little unnerving to think about what actually happened,” said Dawn Price, whose backyard was in the path of the twister.

“I’m just really thankful everyone is OK.”

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