SLIDESHOW: Funnel cloud batters rural property

Sunday's wild weather produced a tornado that toppled trees, tore off roofs and caused power outages.

Curtis Stergion's home was damaged by a tree that was snapped off by Sunday's funnel cloud.

Sunday afternoon’s wild weather left trees toppled and some roofs ruined as a tornado – or what was believed to be a tornado, at least – zig-zagged its way through a rural Enumclaw neighborhood.

The funnel cloud that had plenty of witnesses was not immediately termed a tornado by the National Weather Service, as no staff members were on duty due to the Labor Day holiday.

But there was no mistaking the funnel cloud for those who were witness to its damage.

“I saw it,” said Ti Hendershot, an employee of GE and B Nursery, who was standing with Garry Horton in the showroom when the wind started to kick up.

“The width of the funnel cloud was the size of our showroom,” Hendershot said.

The tornado uprooted trees on the property, swept the plastic sheeting from a number of greenhouses, set tree branches flying and left a swath of tipped-over shrubs in its wake.

The nursery is on Southeast 400th Street.

Not far away, Chuck Bender watched the events unfold.

“It was kind of crazy,” he said. Bender was sitting at a desk, looking out windows facing to the east, “and all of a sudden, trees started flying around the front of my house. It kind of came out of nowhere.”

Cruising his neighborhood around Westwood Elementary School after the funnel cloud disappeared, Bender took inventory. One neighbor told of a tin roof pulled from an outbuilding and flung 150 feet. He saw where trees had spun in the ground, root systems and all. Trees perhaps 18 inches across were bent and broken. In one case, a tree was snapped and fell onto a neighbor’s home.

Tornado damage wasn’t limited to areas on the King County side of the White River.

Buckley residents Art and Shirley Kaelin were away from the acreage they’ve called home for more than 60 years when an isolated tornado ripped apart their barn and toppled equipment.

There were no reported injuries from Sunday’s weather events.

To comment on this story view it online at www.courierherald.com. Reach Kevin Hanson at khanson@courierherald.com or 360-802-8205.

More in News

Taxing district was independent, now part of city government

In a move that was philosophically opposed by a pair of council members, the city of Enumclaw has taken control of the local Transportation Benefit District. The move may not be noticeable to the general public, as the collection and distribution of money should be unchanged. Also, the people controlling the dollars and cents remain the same.

Wilbanks wins close Buckley race

It took a month, but Luke Wilbanks finally knows he’ll be occupying a seat on the Buckley City Council.

Smooth holiday travel requires planning, patience | Department of Transportation

No matter what your holiday plans, being prepared for winter conditions and holiday traffic will help make your trip smoother. The Washington State Department of Transportation urges all travelers to “know before you go” and plan ahead for smoother travel.

Pierce County burn ban lifted | Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Update

The weather may be getting colder, but burn bans have been called for multiple counties due to deteriorating air quality.

Local authors publish their first novels

Sometimes, you just can’t get an idea out of your head. For two local authors, this certainly has been the case. Since they were kids, James Peet of Enumclaw and Tommy Rice of Bonney Lake had some ideas in their heads, ones that never quite left them, even as they grew older, got jobs, and settled down with their wives and kids of their own.

Scammers posing as the State Supreme Court Clerk | Office of the Attorney General

Scammers are posing as the Washington State Supreme Court Clerk to call Washingtonians to demand money and threaten arrest. The fraudulent calls have so far targeted individuals with Hispanic last names.

Enumclaw’s Van Hulse to compete in national music showcase

Erik Van Hulse, who also goes by his stage name Siboh Nisoh, has been working toward this big break for almost as long as he can remember.

Kiwanis honor four as Students of the Month

Members of the Buckley Kiwanis Club honored a trio of “Students of the Month” during an Nov. 16 gathering.

Pepper addresses ‘false’ recall charges in community meeting

The meeting, held at the Black Diamond library, was a chance for voters to have “an opportunity to hear from both sides before they decide to sign,” the recall petition, Pepper wrote in an announcement for the meeting.

Most Read