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03-20-2005, 10:40 PM
Link (http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/03/20/state/n190810S81.DTL)

Funnel cloud rips over roofs in South San Francisco

Sunday, March 20, 2005

(03-20) 19:51 PST South San Francisco, Calif. (AP) --

A rogue funnel cloud raced through South San Francisco Sunday afternoon, knocking down power lines and damaging several rooftops, police said.

The whirling cloud which meteorologists at the National Weather Service believe was a tornado was spotted at 3:40 p.m. just west of the city. It appeared in the middle of a heavy thunderstorm with blue-black skies and hail.

It raced northeast and eventually dissipated over San Francisco Bay about 4 p.m.

A downtown area of South San Francisco was the hardest hit by the funnel. Tornado winds can reach 100 mph.

Power lines were knocked down, windows shattered and several business and residential rooftops heavily damaged in an area centered at Railroad and Commercial Ave., according to police.

Some 1,500 people were temporarily left without power, which was expected to be restored by late Sunday, according to a spokesman for PG&E.

South San Francisco police desk officer Dave Stahler said the funnel appeared in the middle of a thunderstorm "with really dark skies, tons of rain and lots of hail. It cleared immediately and we got the frantic phone calls."

No injuries were immediately reported

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service will conduct a storm survey Monday to determine if the funnel was in fact a tornado, which is unusual for the Bay Area.

"We'll look at the path of the funnel and the damage that occurred," said meteorologist Mark Stobin.

A tornado typically has a very focused damage area before it lifts and moves on, he said.

03-20-2005, 10:44 PM
Wow I didn't even know that's right down the street. I was out all day looking for a place to move. We had a pretty good downpour today it was a little crazy. We had a funnel cloud a few years ago in Sunnyvale too. Crazy weather these days.