Port Orchard tornado

No further information immediately available.

Published Thursday, December 20, 2018

A tornado touched down south of Port Orchard on Tuesday just before 2 p.m. causing trees to be uprooted and structures to be torn apart.

Aerial shots of the damage showed homes that had entire roofs ripped off and other houses where trees had fallen on top of them.

"It came and went in the blink of an eye and left so much devastation," said Russell Lawhead, who was in a parking lot near Bethel Road Southeast and Southeast Salmonberry Road when the tornado hit.

"The most incredible thing is sitting in my car wondering what is going on, what is happening?"

Most of the "catastrophic" damage is confined to the neighborhoods east and south of the Walmart in the 3400 block of Bethel Road Southeast, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.

There are active power lines down in those neighborhoods, and gas companies are checking their supply lines for leaks.

Cascade Natural Gas said there were no natural gas leaks in the affected area. There was one report of a gas leak at a home off Rhapsody Drive due to a tree falling, but it has been secured.

Residents are advised to avoid those areas or shelter in place as those neighborhoods have not been deemed safe, according to the sheriff's office.

Several roads remain closed in the area, including Bethel Road between Sedgwick Road and Lund Avenue and Salmonberry Road between Branson Drive and Bethel Road. Jackson Avenue, Sedgwick Road, and Lund Avenue are open both directions. Salmonberry Road is open between Jackson Avenue and Branson Drive.

Witnesses said they could feel the tornado shaking entire structures as winds whipped outside. "The wind very quickly picked up, and I started seeing the trees blow," said Christopher Raymond of Port Orchard. "All the walls just started shaking really violently, and me and my uncle actually saw what appeared to be a tornado in the sky going up through our backyard."
Source: DORRIS

Port Orchard tornado Facts

Power: 0
Affected Area: 10 km.
Alert Level: Orange
Category: Met
Response: Shelter
Severity: Extreme
Urgency: Immediate
Certainty: Observed

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