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Elk Grove Residents Mop Up Tornado Damage

A tornado damaged Elk Grove homes Monday night.

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The sky was blue and the streets quiet on Rhone River Drive Tuesday afternoon, but it was hard to miss evidence of what happened the night before.

A tornado with winds between 90 and 100 miles per hour touched down in southeast Elk Grove around 4:45 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The agency rated it an EF1 tornado, the second-weakest on a zero-to-five scale.

"It was really scary," Rhone River Drive resident Lannelle Ware said. "The wind sounded like it was in the house."

A tree in Ware's front yard was sheared off and dragged down the street by the wind, she said.

"I'm a native San Franciscan–a Californian–I've never seen that," Ware said. "I'm not from the midwest or back east."

Hers was one of about 50 homes that saw some kind of damage, according to the Cosumnes Fire Department. Some had tiles ripped off the roof, fences were toppled and debris was strewn throughout yards.

Perhaps most dramatically, a commercial building on Waterman Road had a 20-foot-by-50-foot hole ripped in its roof.

The city of Elk Grove and the Elk Grove Police Department warned residents to be wary of fradulent or unlicensed contractors looking to take advantage of those with damage from the storm. City staff placed dumpsters around the damaged neighborhoods to ease cleanup efforts.

"As a reminder to homeowners with swimming pools who had their fences blown down, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to secure their property if there is an imminent danger to the public," the city said in a press release. "The City of Elk Grove’s Code Enforcement Department can work with property owners to assist with fence repair. The homeowner would be responsible for the cost associated with the repair."

Jim Vang, another Rhone River Drive resident, said he got home a couple hours after the tornado's mile-long trip through Elk Grove.

"The whole neighborhood was out here," Vang said. "Everybody was outside. I guess everybody was just overwhelmed."

Bell Singh, a Mainline Drive resident whose fence was knocked down, said he was thankful the damage was only cosmetic.

"Thank God nothing happened to nobody," he said.

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