Montebello tornado videos: Twister tears off roof; wicked wind whips through warehouse

Portions of a building's roof is missing and an adjacent parking lot is littered with debris.
The Royal Paper Box Co. building in Montebello was badly damaged by a tornado.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A tornado in Montebello tore the roof off a building, damaged several others and uprooted a 1-foot-diameter tree Wednesday.

A Times photographer captured wild photos of the scene showing significant damage to buildings and cars in the area.

Nate Cherchian was there and captured the tornado live. In his video, someone observes that the vortex tore “those guys’ f— roof off.”

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Tornado in Montebello captured on camera

Video shows a tornado in Montebello ripping through a roof and sending debris flying on Wednesday.

“Keep it away from us,” a man off-screen says.

In a second video, Sergio Ochoa recorded high winds whipping through a Montebello warehouse, scattering debris and causing apparent damage to the building.

VIDEO | 00:23
Tornado damages Montebello warehouse

Video taken inside a Montebello warehouse during Wednesday’s tornado shows high winds damaging the building and scattering debris.

In the video, an alarm sounds as objects appear to fall from the ceiling.

Though tornadoes are rare in Southern California, they do happen.

“People feel like we don’t get tornadoes in California, but we do actually get them here,” said Carol Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “To see a few of them a year is not uncommon.”

See a map of the tornado’s route below.


The National Weather Service had already determined that a “weak” tornado touched down in Carpinteria on Tuesday. It was rated EF0 on a 0 to 5 scale and had winds of up to 75 mph. The Montebello event, which occurred at 11:14 a.m. Wednesday, was stronger, at EF1, with winds up to 110 mph.

Times staff writers Christian Martinez, Deborah Netburn and Brennon Dixson contributed to this report.