NWS: Small tornado struck Mesa apartment complex - Tucson News Now

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NWS: Small tornado struck Mesa apartment complex

Car port awning damaged at Mesa apartment complex Saturday, (Source: Shawn Kline, cbs5az.com) Car port awning damaged at Mesa apartment complex Saturday, (Source: Shawn Kline, cbs5az.com)
Viewer submitted photo taken at Power & McDowell roads on Saturday. (Source: Ken Wineberg) Viewer submitted photo taken at Power & McDowell roads on Saturday. (Source: Ken Wineberg)
Tree uprooted as a small tornado swirls through complex. (Source: CBS 5 News) Tree uprooted as a small tornado swirls through complex. (Source: CBS 5 News)
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

A weak tornado swirled through a Mesa apartment complex Saturday during the height of a potent Pacific storm system, the National Weather Service reported.

The "small EF0 tornado" appeared near Extension Road and Main Street in the Palm Cove Apartment complex.

An EF0 tornado carries winds between 65 to 85 mph, according to CBS 5 meteorologist Jason Kadah.

NWS meteorologists said it launched an empty hot tub and moved it 1,300 feet.

The tornado also caused damage to shingles and knocked down several large trees. Several eyewitnesses saw the tornado and the flying hot tub, NWS meteorologists said.

Car port awnings peeled away and trees were ripped out of the ground.

CBS 5 News viewer Cherie Robinson described on the CBS 5 Facebook page what she saw.

"I was driving when the sky turned very dark, the winds picked up and I was approaching a wall of rain like I've never seen before," Robinson wrote. "Then I looked up and the clouds were rotating at a very fast pace."

Tom Campbell recorded what he saw from his cell phone after the Saturday afternoon storm cleared from his apartment.

"It was like a mild version of being inside a wind tunnel," Campbell said.

A hot tub was found flipped upside down outside Campbell's door.

No one was injured, but the heavy winds were costly for Daniel Rhodes.

"Blinds blew open and you hear a bunch of crashing and all sorts of noises coming down," Rhodes said. "I looked outside and our vehicle is smashed."

Rhodes' Lincoln Navigator is missing a back window, which was blown out by the damaging storm.

The storm ended a 70-day dry streak in the Phoenix area.

About 2,050 Arizona Public Service customers were without power for a while due to the storm. The boundaries of the outage ran from Camelback south to Osborn and 24th Street west to 12th Street.

The Pacific storm, driven by an upper-level low, continued to march across Arizona through the evening with conditions finally drying out Sunday.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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