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Destructive Port Orchard tornado wasn't the worst Washington state has seen

It may have been the latest, but the tornado that touched down in Port Orchard this week wasn't the strongest Washington state has seen.

The above video is footage taken Dec. 19, 2018, after the tornado in Port Orchard.

It may have been the strongest one in recent memory, but the tornado that damaged up to 250 homes and buildings Tuesday wasn't nearly the worst in recorded history. 

For that, you have too look back to the late 60s and early 70s, when Washington state residents witnessed three F-3 tornadoes. 

The first hit King County on Dec. 12, 1969. According to data from NOAA, one person was injured. 

RELATED: Port Orchard tornado rated EF-2

Then came the F-3 of April 5, 1972. Around 1 p.m. that day, a squall line moving east through the Portland-Vancouver area formed a tornado. It touched down at the Columbia River near 33rd Avenue and Marine Drive in Portland where it destroyed dock installations before crossing the river into Washington state, according to a report from NOAA. As it moved through Vancouver, it left "an incredible scene of destruction." 

About 50 homes were destroyed or damaged before the tornado reached two city blocks, where it destroyed an elementary school, bowling alley, and a discount store. A lumber store, service station, and other businesses were also badly damaged, according to the report. 

The total length of destruction extended about 9 miles. It killed six people and left 300 more injured, according to historical data from NOAA. 

NOAA's report from 1972 notes the tornado doesn't fit the classic pattern. No tornado watch or warning was issued. 

Later in the day, another F-3 touched down west of Spokane. 

It should be noted that the tornadoes were rated using an outdated method back in the 70s. The Fujita Scale was revised in 2007 to the Enhanced Fujita Scale after researchers noted several weaknesses within the original. Still, the F-3 remains the most destructive in decades. 

RELATED: How experts assess the strength of a tornado

There have been a total of 123 reported tornadoes in Washington state since 1950.