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 Reach Kevin Hanson at or 360-802-8205.

More in News

Group moving ahead with plans for Mount Peak tower

The Mount Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association may have to shift where the tower would be placed, and the cost is estimated at $450,000.

Pamphlets, primary ballots headed for voters’ hands

The first round of election materials are scheduled to hit the mail July 12 in Pierce County and July 17 in King County.

Proudly in defense of breastfeeding, in King County and everywhere | Public Health Insider

Patty Hayes, Director of Public Health—Seattle & King County, responded to the news that the United States government aggressively attempted to water down international support for breast-feeding through the World Health Organization.

Buckley discusses potential 83 unit apartment complex development

The conversation is taken its very first steps. But the direction council members decide to head will likely affect Buckley’s future for years to come.

State survey seeks information from SR 410 drivers

Make sure to let WSDOT know how you think traffic between Bonney Lake and Enumclaw can be improved by Sunday, July 22.

Road work affects SR 167 night traffic | Department of Transportation

The project also includes repaving on-ramps and exits within the project limits. Crews are also scheduled to repair a number of aging bridge expansion joints.

The Carlton Complex wildfire burned in north-central Washington state in 2014. Photo by Jason Kriess/Wikimedia Commons
King County burn ban under way

Other counties across the state have already enacted similar restrictions.

Between Seattle’s $15 minimum wage and the new no-poach cause agreement, Washington has been leading the nation in advancing fast food workers’ rights. Photo by Fibonacci Blue/Flickr
Washington AG’s deal grants mobility to fast food workers nationwide

Seven fast food chains have agreed to end no-poaching policies that economists say cause wage stagnation.

Dianne Laurine, a Commissioner for the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities says that she needs plastic straws to drink liquids, and that she easily bites through ones made out of paper. Photo by Melissa Hellmann
Straw ban leaves disabled community feeling high and dry

Although disabled people are exempted from Seattle’s new law, the impacted community says that businesses haven’t gotten the message.

Most Read