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Witnesses describe rare tornado that touched down in Shelton Friday

The National Weather Service said the 5-minute tornado had winds estimated between 90 and 100 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed a tornado with a preliminary rating of EF-1 touched down in Mason County near Shelton Friday evening.

The tornado touched down for about 5 minutes and had winds estimated between 90-100 mph.

The tornado traveled on land for approximately 0.68 miles before moving over the water of Pickering Passage and dissipating as a water spout, the NWS said.

No one was hurt.

The NWS sent a team to the area Saturday afternoon to survey the damage. The team said the damage path was up to 90 yards in length.

Video from Tayler Geiger shows the tornado moving over water, forming water spout and stirring up debris. 

“It just sounded really windy and before that, we thought we heard possibly thunder,” she explained. “You felt helpless, there's nothing you really can do except for sit and watch and pray it doesn't come any closer.”

Geiger has lived in Washington her whole life and said she’s never seen a tornado. “It’s really scary, too, to think about all the damage for the families involved.”


Shelton resident Beth Lyons said, “It was frightening, it touched down 100 yards from my door. That was nerve-wracking, and then it went back up in the clouds, luckily.”

The tornado moved away from her home as she watched in fear. “I live in an RV, so I thought, 'I'm done,' if it did come back,” Lyons said. 

Some trees were uprooted, impacting at least two homes in the area. One of the homes had two trees fall on its roof.

Credit: KING
The tornado was rated as an EF-1, with winds 90 to 100 miles per hour.
Credit: KING
A tornado with winds 90 to 100 miles per hour touched down in the Shelton area Friday evening.

Last December, an EF-2 tornado touched down in the Port Orchard area, with wind speeds of 120-130 mph.

No one was seriously hurt, but more than 200 homes were damaged. 

WATCH: Drone footage of December 2018 tornado in Kitsap County