Tornado causes 'catastrophic damage' in Kitsap County, sheriff says

Assessment crews will be working to determine the strength of a storm as early as 8 a.m. Wednesday after a tornado touched down Tuesday afternoon near Port Orchard in Kitsap County.

The tornado hit sometime between 1:45 p.m. and 1:51 p.m. It was not a six minute tornado, but touched down in that time. Chief Meteorologist Morgan Palmer said the tornado was likely on the ground for about a minute.

A review of Doppler radar data suggests debris (leaves, other litter) was lofted at least 6,000 feet into the atmosphere after the touchdown near the Bethel community. That's about 20 miles west of Seattle.

The spinup was so brief as to be down and up and gone before a warning could be issued.

After a primary search of all the areas, no injuries were reported.

One person checked into St. Anthony's Hospital with minor injuries from tornado damage. The man was outside working on construction when he was swept up into the air by strong winds, authorities said.

Kitsap County Sheriff's Deputy Scott Wilson told KIRO 7 about 50 buildings were damaged.

People were asked to shelter in place.

The American Red Cross opened an evacuation center at St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church, 1150 Mitchell Ave Southeast in Port Orchard.

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