WATCH: Washington state is known to only get one or two tornadoes a year, with most in the eastern part of the state. But on Tuesday, a rare December tornado touched down. Tornado aftermath footage from King 5.
Homes were torn apart Tuesday afternoon when a tornado touched down near Port Orchard, a city west of Seattle in Washington state.
WATCH: The aftermath of a tornado west of Seattle. Credit: King 5
At around 2:30 p.m., the National Weather Service said that based on radar imagery and video evidence, it was able to confirm a tornado touched down south of Port Orchard shortly before 2 p.m.
The agency said it will not be able to survey the area before it gets dark tonight so the tornado survey will be done tomorrow morning.
Until the survey is done, the National Weather Service will not speculate how strong the tornado was.
National Weather Service in Seattle can confirm that a tornado touched down near Port Orchard just before 2pm on December 18. An extensive, official damage survey will be conducted by the NWS Wednesday morning. Until then, the strength of the tornado can't be determined. #WAwx pic.twitter.com/Hs1MVIkzoz
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 19, 2018
Some trees were uprooted and fell onto houses when the tornado touched down. Other houses had entire roofs ripped off.
WATCH: Homes were damages and trees were uprooted during a tornado south of Port Orchard. Credit: King 5.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office called the damage “catastrophic” but added that it was contained to neighbourhoods east and south of a Walmart in Port Orchard. Roads are closed in the area and power lines are down.
The sherriff’s office has also issued an evacuation warning for an area of South Kitsap due to a natural gas leak.
Evacuation warning for an area of South Kitsap!The Kitsap County Department of Emergency Management has announced an…
There are no reports of any injuries following the tornado.
WATCH: Damage at a Port Orchard strip mall following Tuesday’s tornado. Credit: King 5
Port Orchard is about 37 kilometres west of Seattle and 113 kilometres south of Victoria.
There is an average of 2.5 tornadoes in Washington state every year. December tornadoes are very rare, averaging 0.1 per year.
The last tornado in western Washington state was on March 30, 2017, in Monroe.
With files from KING 5