Possible tornadic thunderstorm strikes Butte County

Biggs, CA, after Wednesday's possible tornadic thunderstorm.

Butte County suffered a possible tornadic thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon, meaning a thunderstorm so powerful it almost produced a tornado.

It caused minor flooding, but little property damage.

The thunderstorm spread over Biggs around 2:40 pm, crossing directly over Biggs East Highway, East Rio Bonito Road, and Larkin Road. The storm dropped large amounts of water and hail. Wind and lightening were also an issue, with at least one incident of lighting striking a power pole in front of a driver in Gridley.

Kari Wheeler, owner of Wheeler Ranch and Feed, said she hasn't seen a storm that powerful in the nearly 30 years that she's lived in Biggs. She explained how she protects her products from storms.

"We put all our feed up on pallets, that way it ensures that the feed will stay dry. Our hay we always store within a barn so that we do not have rain or mildew or anything on our hay," Wheeler said.

The worst of the storm passed in about 15 minutes, according to Wheeler. Customers were inside her store when the storm hit. She said it was so severe that they were afraid to leave until the storm passed.

The National Weather Service described it as a "possible tornadic thunderstorm," which prompted a tornado warning to be issued for Butte County, which was later cancelled after the storm passed.

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