East County News Service
August 16, 2015 (Salton Sea) – The National Weather Service confirmed yesterday that a severe storm that tore through Mecca on the north shore of the Salton Sea on August 6 was a tornado that caused over $10 million in damages.
The storm downed or snapped steel and wooden utility poles along a two to three mile stretch, said Alex Tardy with the National Weather Service. “Eyewitness reports consisted of a funnel shape cloud and tornado,” added Tardy, who said golf-ball sized hailstones and heavy rain were also reported.
The National Weather Service has concluded that a tornado did in fact occur, with peak wind speeds reached 90 to 105 miles per hour. The tornado flipped over a vehicle and also damaged structures.
A tornado previously struck the Salton Sea beach area in 1978, causing six injuries and $2.5 million in property damages.