TACOMA — An early winter storm dumped a record amount of rain in the Pacific Northwest, knocked out power to thousands and likely churned up a rare tornado Monday that ripped a hole in the roof on an industrial plant near Seattle.
The most dramatic damage was at an industrial park in Frederickson, south of Tacoma. As thunder and lightning flashed, the wind uprooted trees and tore a jagged hole in the roof of the Northwest Door manufacturing plant.
“It looked from the inside like a wave going along. You could actually see the roof flexing,” Northwest Door President Jeff Hohman said.
Witnesses reported seeing a tornado in the area at the time, and the Weather Service sent a team to Frederickson to investigate.
Washington may get a tornado or two every year, but they are usually small. One of the largest was an F3 in 1972 in Vancouver that killed six people.
No one was injured in Monday. About 100 employees evacuated and the business closed while inspectors assess a 40-by-40-foot hole in the roof.