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Tornadoes in California? At least four funnel clouds touch down in northern California.

Tornadoes in California: Storm clouds brought much-needed rain to northern and central California, along with at least four funnel clouds. Tornadoes are rare in California.

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A rainbow shines over a farm near Highway 32 and Road O as a severe storm brought funnel clouds and a report of a tornado touchdown Wednesday, March 26, 2014 in Orland, Calif. The storm system delivered much-needed rain to drought-stricken California, but also brought hail, thunderstorms, and at least four tornadoes.

Jason Halley/The Chico Enterprise-Record/AP

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A rare tornado has damaged about a dozen homes in Northern California, sending roof tiles and solar panels flying and leaving residents of the city of Roseville in shock over the unusual event, officials said on Thursday.

The tornado descended late on Wednesday in a residential area of Roseville, about 18 miles north of the state capital, Sacramento, and ripped through a distance measuring some 100 yards, a Roseville Fire Department spokesman said.

Another twister touched down in Ordbend, the weather service reported. There were reports of at least four tornadoes, which are rare for California.

"It kind of touched down pretty quickly and went back up," said the Roseville spokesman, Rob Baquera. "Roof tiles went flying off, solar panels ... and a boat was lifted up and moved about six feet from where it was."

Small funnel clouds occur about once a year in the Sacramento-area, but Baquera could not remember the last time a tornado hit Roseville. While no one was injured, residents were shaken up and hunkered down afterward, he said.

"It was definitely a tornado," said National Weather Service forecaster George Cline, adding that on the Enhanced Fujita scale it ranked as an EF0, the smallest measurement category for twisters.

Some 10 to 12 homes were damaged in the tornado's path, but none were destroyed. Debris smashed windows and ripped a large hole in the bedroom wall of one home, causing between $30,000 and $40,000 in damage to the dwelling, Baquera said.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and G Crosse)

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