Advertisement

Two tornadoes, the strongest in more than 74 years, hit San Luis Obispo County during last storm

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 06: The Pacific Coast Highway is damaged in Point Mugu near Sycamore Canyon Road, as atmospheric river storms hit Los Angeles, California, United States on February 6, 2024. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Pacific Coast Highway is damaged near Sycamore Canyon Road in the Point Mugu area. (Anadolu via Getty Images)

Two tornadoes touched down Wednesday along San Luis Obispo County's coast, hitting Grover Beach and Los Osos with 95-mph winds that uprooted trees, snapped power lines and took part of a roof off at least one building, according to the National Weather Service.

After initial reports of a tornado, meteorologists confirmed that two E-1 tornadoes — which indicates winds over 86 mph — touched down Wednesday afternoon as severe thunderstorms from a low-pressure system moved across the Central Coast.

The first hit just before 4 p.m. in the Los Osos area , where officials said it moved along Los Osos Valley Road.

Read more: Southern California is finally starting to dry out. The next storm may come in 9 days

"The damage consisted of several snapped and downed power poles, with sections of a roof torn off a greenhouse," forecasters with the weather service reported.

Then, minutes later, a second tornado hit about 20 miles south, in Grover Beach.

"The tornado produced significant damage to trees and power lines. ... [It] uprooted and toppled numerous trees, some falling onto and damaging vehicles and powerlines," the report said. "Multiple businesses sustained damage, and the tornadic winds buckled metal garages."

Video from the aftermath in Grover Beach showed trees toppled and some uprooted.

Each tornado lasted only a few minutes, with winds estimated to have peaked at 95 mph, the weather service estimated.

Officials said these are the first tornadoes to hit San Luis Obispo County since 2004 and the strongest since before 1950.

The city of Grover Beach on Thursday declared a local emergency following the tornado.

Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.