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Powerful Woodland storm being called a microburst, not a tornado

Cleanup underway after powerful winds in Woodland
Cleanup underway after powerful winds in Woodland 02:57

WOODLAND — Cleanup is underway in Woodland after Tuesday's storm snapped utility poles in half and downed trees across the area.

"Suddenly, the building started to rumble," said Cynthia Carter, a pharmacist at Woodland Pharmacy just about 100 yards away from East Street and Gum Avenue. "I looked out the window and I saw the tree fall over like it cracked the tree in half."

Carter was finishing up her final orders of the day when she saw the rain quickly turned to hail, and then the wind snapped and cracked eight nearby utility poles.

"I got a little nervous because it was so forceful," said Carter. "My thoughts were tornado and I was thinking of a safe place to hide."

Across the street, crews were removing a massive tree that crashed down on two cars during Tuesday's storm.

"It looked like a tornado actually went through," said Rick Newman who is the property manager at Pecan Plaza, the area where the nearly 50-foot tree fell. "I have been here 33 years and I have never seen anything like this."

So did a tornado really touchdown in Woodland? CBS 13's Chief Meteorologist Nic Merianos said no, what happened was a microburst. The National Weather Service agreed.

Microbursts are strong downward or outward winds, often mirroring tornado damage.

"I guess it could have been a gust, but it did not feel like that," said Carter.

People tell us as quickly as the storm came it went, leaving behind battered roofs, power outages and a mess to clean up.

"We were concerned we would be without power for a lot longer than we actually ended up being," Carter said.

PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said they were able to restore power to about 2,000 customers within an hour of things going out Tuesday night. The goal was to have the other 300 or so restored by Wednesday night, but crews may need to work into Thursday.

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