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“It was kind of scary”: Tornado topples trees and power lines in Grover Beach 

Tornado damage on West Grand Avenue and 9th Street in Grover Beach, CA.
Photo by Amanda Wernik.
Tornado damage on West Grand Avenue and 9th Street in Grover Beach, CA.

The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado struck Grover Beach on Wednesday, causing significant damage to the area.

Trees were toppled, power lines were downed, and several buildings were damaged by the powerful winds and heavy rain.

Cleanup crews were busy on West Grand Avenue and 9th Street on Thursday, clearing debris left in the tornado's wake.

John Holmes, a Grover Beach business owner, recalls being in his office when the storm struck and caused a power outage.

Tornado topples power lines and trees in Grover Beach, CA.
Photo by Amanda Wernik.
Tornado topples power lines and trees in Grover Beach, CA.

“ It was kind of scary inside our office,” Holmes said. “The ceiling panels were shaking and our rear fence blew through the yard, destroying the whole patio in the back.”

The extreme weather event happened after the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning in the region, which remained in effect until 4 pm.

Resident Chris Terhune said he didn’t realize how bad the damage was until stepping outside.

“The trees were knocked down, and all the lights were out,” Terhune said. “Then, I looked around my house, and a couple of pieces of outdoor artwork had fallen down from the wind.”

The storm also caused damage in other parts of South County, including Arroyo Grande.

“I've never heard rain like that,” AG Resident Jean Sysak said. “It was torrential and very rapid, and it was only there for maybe 15 minutes; then it was gone.”

Officials are still assessing the full extent of damage across the county.

The SLO County Office of Emergency Services is providing the latest storm-related updates on its social media and website.

Tornado damage in Grover Beach, CA.
Photo by Amanda Wernik.
Tornado damage in Grover Beach, CA.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.
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