Cellphone video captured the moment a teacher was sucked out of her classroom and knocked to the ground during a tornado in Montebello.
The video shows the teacher standing near a door at Vail High School while students tell her that someone ran outside. As she cracks the door, a strong gust of wind flings it open, pulling the teacher out of the classroom and knocking her to the ground.
A student told NBC Los Angeles that the teacher opened the door of the second-floor classroom because another student was on the ledge.
“Basically, she opens the door so she can get the student inside, and the entire door – she flies with the door and it was absolutely crazy,” the student said. “My first instinct was to go grab her because she’s very petite, she’s very little. And yeah, so it was crazy. All of it was crazy.”
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The video showed students helping the teacher up. She reportedly sustained minor injuries.
The tornado damaged 17 buildings in the city, with 11 being red-tagged, according to Montebello spokesman Michael Chee.
Ariel Cohen, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service Los Angeles/ Oxnard, confirmed that it was a tornado that caused the damage. The tornado packed winds of 86 mph to 110 mph, considered an EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, when it touched down at at about 11:20 a.m. in an industrial area with several warehouses.
U.S. & World
The damaging winds followed a day of severe weather that included a tornado warning Tuesday night for central Ventura County and southwestern Los Angeles County. The system was expected to move out late Wednesday, but not before another wave of scattered showers.
In the Santa Barbara County community of Carpinteria, the NWS confirmed that a tornado damaged a mobile home park Tuesday night.