Watch: Microburst blasts Santa Barbara with 80 mph winds


A nice day at the beach in Santa Barbara turned into a mad scramble for shelter as a massive microburst rolled through the Southern California beach town.

A thunderstorm that had tapped into tropical moisture let loose what's called a downburst -- when a rush of rain comes out the base of a thunderstorms and when it hits the ground, races outward at near hurricane speeds.

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles reported gusts up to 80 mph as the downburst raced through town and the damage report was extensive: Cars damaged by falling poles, several trees down, power outages, roofs damaged, boats tossed and washed ashore near Stearns Wharf, and cars smashed by debris.

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