Neighborhood clobbered by tornado faced second storm with high winds and rain

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – Thursday’s storms made cleanup in Port Orchard a troublesome task.

Many homeowners worry some of the trees that are still standing could topple over in Thursday's gusty winds.

The damage inside the neighborhood tucked behind Walmart is still quite extensive two days after the tornado. But thanks to the second stormy weather some homeowners had to delay clean-up efforts.

It wasn’t only the rain, the wind continued hammering on a neighborhood that if anything deserves a break from mother nature.

“It’s just a wreck in there,” said homeowner Christopher Raymond.

Raymond’s home was pretty much destroyed during Tuesday’s tornado as a pair of trees collapsed into the structure. He said he and his girlfriend were inside when the EF2 twister landed.

“Some of us are just trying to hold on to whatever little bit we got left,” he said. “None of us died, that’s the most important part.”

While crews tried fixing tarps to roofs on homes that still had one, the gusty winds made that chore a challenge.

“It’s tough on them” said Becca Ellingsworth from Devoted Tree Solutions. “It’s tough on us sitting here being helpless to help them.”

High winds kept many heads on a swivel – worried that a strong gust toppling trees that are already in a precarious position.

“Everything is saturated,” she said.

The soggy ground and strong wind gusts meant tree crews could mostly only tackle what’s already on the ground.

“It’s totally unsafe for the climber,” said Ellingsworth, “We don’t know when these trees are going to come down.”

While Raymond grabbed family pictures and other priceless items, he worried Thursday’s windstorm wasn’t through tormenting his neighbors who have already gone through enough.

“Some of their houses that survived the tornado may not survive tonight,” he said.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries told Q13 News it had representatives in Port Orchard talking to folks whose homes suffered storm damage.

The state is warning everyone against rushing to hire someone to cut down trees or perform repairs.

L & I recommends homeowners first get three written bids, verify a contractor’s registration and do not pay in full until the job is complete