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Tornado touchdown confirmed at Carpinteria mobile home park

Posted at 10:32 PM, Mar 22, 2023

We are following two confirmed tornadoes that touched down in California, and one of them hit southern Santa Barbara County.

The National Weather Service confirms that an EF-0 tornado packing winds as high as 75 miles per hour touched down at the Sandpiper Mobile Home Park in Carpinteria Tuesday evening.

Video shared by Kyle Kane shows the moments when a weak tornado tore through the mobile home park.

“I was in my office. I heard it and I was like what?! I looked outside, and I could see awnings flying,” said park General Manager Tonya Martinez. “It was quick. It didn’t take very long.”

The confirmed tornado ripped off awnings, tore apart carports, and even lifted the roof off of at least one mobile home.

“I had just walked down our street to the gym and was just starting to work out, and I could see that it was really getting windy outside,” said Jessica Gray, who was working out just a couple hundred feet away when the tornado struck her home with her son and dog inside.

“Looking out the windows from where I was at, it just seemed like really heavy wind. My son called me in absolute panic saying that stuff was flying all over the place, that the gutters had ripped off our house,” recalled Gray.

“I had no idea what he was talking about. I came out, and it was pouring down rain. I ran down the street and it was just absolute mayhem from the few minutes before when I had just walked through.”

The Carpinteria Summerland Fire Protection District confirms that 26 homes were damaged…

“When first crews arrived, they found residents helping each other, and a lot of debris,” said Fire Marshall Mike Lomonaco.

Neighbors quickly got to work helping each other while first responders looked to see if anyone was injured.

“Neighbors were outside pulling debris out of our backyard. We had friends from down the street get up on our roof and pull metal and wood off the top,” said Gray.

“In a crisis, you see one of two things: you either see the best in people or you see the worst in people and here, we’re seeing the best in people coming together, helping each other out and taking care of each other,” added Lomonaco.

The park manager says that all of this debris should be cleared away by the weekend.

Fire officials confirm that an employee at a nearby graveyard was injured, but nobody else was hurt.