PHOTO Rare California ‘tornado’ touches down in Santa Barbara: Rips up trees and damages cars

By JAMES GORDON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

A rare California ‘tornado’ touched down in Santa Barbara on Christmas Day night.

Metal car port awnings at an apartment complex in the Goleta area were ripped off while trees were also knocked down by the apparently brief but ferocious storm at around 10pm on Saturday evening.

Witnesses say a small tornado caused the damage, although there do not appear to be any injuries.

One social media user said the storm disappeared as quickly as it came and was all over in under a minute.

‘Steel beams bent and thrown 20+ feet. Whole thing lasted under 60 seconds,’ Marie wrote.

An uprooted tree could be seen after the tornado struck Santa Barbara on Saturday night
An uprooted tree could be seen after the tornado struck Santa Barbara on Saturday night

The tree landed on top of a metal car awning which subsequently collapsed

The tree landed on top of a metal car awning which subsequently collapsed

The structure appeared to buckle following the tree's collapse on top of the car port

The structure appeared to buckle following the tree’s collapse on top of the car port

The size of the tree is an indication of just how strong winds from the storm were as it passed

The size of the tree is an indication of just how strong winds from the storm were as it passed

 

Photos from those on social media show the storms strength as large trees at the apartment complex were felled with their roots exposed.

Cars parked under a metal awning were also badly damaged after a tree collapsed on top of the structure.

Poles that were used to keep the structure up buckled after the tree landed a direct hit.

Away from the apartment complex, the powerful tornado also appeared to down power lines.

Weather maps show the storm, coming across the California coastline late into the evening

Instagram user baughershawn posted damage to a carport after a possible tornado in the Goleta area of Santa Barbara, California

Instagram user baughershawn posted damage to a carport after a possible tornado in the Goleta area of Santa Barbara, California

 

Emergency crews were quickly on scene to deal with any damage that may have resulted

Emergency crews were quickly on scene to deal with any damage that may have resulted

 

Yellow tape is erected around the car port which collapsed

Yellow tape is erected around the car port which collapsed

 

One resident of the apartment block took time to take photographs of the damage

One resident of the apartment block took time to take photographs of the damage

 

The carport awning had no chance against the metal structure of the car port

The carport awning had no chance against the metal structure of the car port

 

The metal roof of the car port was ripped off by the strong winds on Saturday evening
The metal roof of the car port was ripped off by the strong winds on Saturday evening

A car awning could be seen having been blown over and onto nearby vehicles

Social  media users were quick to capture images of the storm's aftermath

Social  media users were quick to capture images of the storm’s aftermath

 

Weather maps show the storm, coming across the California coastline late into the evening

Weather maps show the storm, coming across the California coastline late into the evening

 

Anyone out on the water was advised to seek safe harbor with the storm

December has been an unusually destructive month weather-wise when it comes to tornadoes.

At least 79 people lost their lives in the nation’s heartland when the storms which passed over several states overnight on December 10 to the early morning of December 11.

‘The scope and scale of this destruction is almost beyond belief,’ said US President Joe Biden after touring the damage in Mayfield, Kentucky.

The December 10 tornadoes killed six in Illinois, five in Tennessee, two in Arkansas and two in Missouri.

The victims in Kentucky range in age from 2 months old to 98 years old.

The continuous tornado path spanned 163.5 mi, making it the longest continuous tornado track in Kentucky history. It’s also the deadliest tornado outbreak in the US since May 2011, when more than 170 people were killed.

In Mayfield, more than 100 employees of the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory braved a tornado inside the facility, with some saying they were trapped under as much as five feet of rubble.

December has been an unusually destructive month weather-wise when it comes to tornadoes. Storms hit several states on December 10, which sent several tornadoes through Kentucky (Mayfield, Kentucky pictured on December 11)

December has been an unusually destructive month weather-wise when it comes to tornadoes. Storms hit several states on December 10, which sent several tornadoes through Kentucky (Mayfield, Kentucky pictured on December 11)

 

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