O'side Residents Battered by Freaky Storm

Tornado or not, mobile home park awash in windblown debris

By Gene Cubbison
|  Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010  |  Updated 4:30 PM PDT
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O'side Residents Battered by Freaky Storm

Christine Gow

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Residents of La Salina Mobile Village in Oceanside spent Wednesday assessing the damage left by what they swear was a tornado that hit the place Tuesday at about 2:10 p.m.

Fire fighters told them it could have been a waterspout that came ashore.

The National Weather Service cites 'high winds' -- nothing more.

"When you see winds going this way and that way and an overpressure like I did," said La Salina resident James Knott III, "and you see something that's moving and twisting like a rat's tail -- A plus B plus C equals D. Tornado."

"It was pretty scary," said Christine Gow as she held Misty, her miniature French poodle. "I'm from Northern California, and it felt kind of like an earthquake, with the movement."

Whatever it was, nerves are on edge and stress levels are high as the 101-space village battens down for more storm surges.

Nearly a dozen carport awnings were torn away, or collapsed.

Siding, roofing materials and yard bric-a-brac were blown every which way.

Some of it went into the nearby Loma Alta Creek flood control channel, where runoff carried bits and pieces out to Buccaneer Beach -- according to reports from city public works crews.

Pictures were taken for insurance purposes.

But that won't help a few residents.

"There's a lot of structural damage to the trailer; there'll be a lot of cleanup" said Jeff Stevenson. "It's going to cost a lot of money, but unfortunately, we're uninsured."

Longtime residents say they feel a lot more secure during rainy seasons than they did before the city installed the flood channel in the late 1990s -- putting an end to Alta Loma Creek's periodic overflowing into the village.

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