Footage of the tornado was shared on social media and showed debris flying into the air
In a rare event, a portion of Los Angeles was hit by a tornado that damaged buildings and injured at least one person.
The phenomenon occurred Wednesday morning in Montebello, about 8 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, according to ABC News affiliate KABC.
The outlet said at least five buildings showed damage to their roofs, with some being torn off or collapsed.
"It felt like somebody was hitting the wall with iron bars," one person in the area told NBC affiliate KNBC. "I saw trash flying around, trees falling down. Even our wrought iron gate is torn up. I'm just thankful no one was injured."
Niky Orellana, a local business owner, said the storm also damaged parts of his building.
"We started holding the door, but we couldn't," Orellana, owner of Niky's Sports Warehouse, told KNBC. "It blew out the door. It blew out the window."
The news station said 11 of 17 buildings were deemed unsafe to enter by the Montebello Fire Department.
The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado on Wednesday afternoon in a statement posted to Twitter. The agency said there was no EF rating yet.
"We are still assessing the damage," the NWS said.
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NWS previously reported that California averages about 11 tornadoes a year, and are most common in the northern half of the central valley.
Still, the one on Wednesday afternoon left many residents shaken.
"This is stuff you see in Ohio, Arkansas," one person told CNN. "Not Montebello."
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