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Small tornado hits north Ceres
Fences downed, shingles flung
A small tornado hit the Davis Way and Park East Drive area of Ceres on Thursday, causing this fence to be tossed to the ground. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The National Weather Service confirmed that a small tornado was responsible for Christmas Eve damage done in the north part of Ceres.

The tornado occurred about the same time a hail storm hit parts of Stanislaus County, contributing to the downing of about 12 power poles on Coffee Road in Modesto. The wind, classified as an EF0 with winds up to 65 to 85 mph, hit between 3 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. Thursday and blew over several wooden fences and plucked off shingles in the area of Davis Way and Park East Drive off of N. Central Avenue.

A piece of sheet metal was flung by the wind about a block away. The wind also snapped off a magnolia tree and caused several houses to lose power when a section of a carport hit a power line.

Sacramento personnel of the National Weather Service visited Ceres after seeing reports from Brianna Little of Ceres who tweeted photos of downed fences and damage to roofs. Warning Coordination Meteorologist Michelle Mead said the Ceres damage appeared to be from an "up and down" kind of storm, with the wind skipping over houses while hitting the next.

The Coffee Road damage was caused when a cypress tree was toppled in the 2000 block, setting off a chain-reaction pull-down of the poles. About 40 Modesto Irrigation District workers scrambled to repair the downed line.