Southern California

South LA Fears More Rain After Tornado

Building inspectors found some open areas or "holes" inside the damaged units but told NBC4 they did not expect to fix them before rain makes landfall

Angelenos reeling from a tornado that struck their South LA neighborhood last week worried Tuesday's looming rainstorm could damage their vulnerable homes.

The small twister ripped rooftops, downed trees and blew out windows the morning of Dec. 12, leaving some residents with plastic covers serving as the roof over their heads.

"(I'm) looking to see, did any water come in, is that plastic going to hold up and keep the water out?" one South LA resident said. "That is kind of a fearful thing to think about when it starts raining again, and how hard it's going to rain."

Piles of wood panels covered the ground near the buildings, between South Vermont and West Gage avenues and 57th and Figueroa streets.

"I just hope (the rain) doesn't get as heavy this time," another neighbor said.

The second of two storms passing through Southern California on Tuesday evening may produce heavy rainfall in some areas and isolated thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.

Building inspectors found some open areas or "holes" inside the damaged units but told NBC4 they did not expect to fix them within the next 24 hours.

Cellphone video of last week's tornado showed winds bending over palm trees before a surge of debris went flying into the air.

Witnesses said they thought they were in an earthquake and took cover when their walls started shaking.

"All of the sudden I heard something rumbling, and one of my neighbors was here and she said, 'The trash can is flying, we're having a tornado,'" Marleen Benefield said last week. "I said, 'No, not in Cali, we don't do that!"

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