Strong Winds Damage Schools in Stanislaus County

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

WATERFORD --

Neighbors are debating whether or not a storm cell that moved through Waterford on Wednesday afternoon was a funnel cloud or a tornado.

"There was a circular area that was moving underneath the funnel," Waterford Unified School District Business Manger Eric Lee said.

Lee said the funnel cloud moved over campus at Lucille Whiteford Intermediate School, throwing a greenhouse against the outside of a classroom, lifting a large shed and moving it into a fence, and blowing down a small tree. He said the funnel cloud passed over a bus full of students, rocking it, before leaving the area.

'It passed over the top and continued on and no one was hurt" Lee said.

Two miles away in Hickman, a large tree was uprooted and fell into a transformer at Hickman Middle School. The school confirmed on its website Wednesday night hat power as out and class was cancelled on Thursday.

"In California, we're just not seed to that," Lee said.

FOX40 reached out to the National Weather Service for comment. They said they had been tracking the storm all day, reviewing photos and videos of the funnel cloud. They said they had not yet seen photos of the funnel cloud directly over damage and could not call it a tornado until they got a surveyor on the ground to see the damage first hand.

"Seeing the lightning and seeing the rotation, it was quite exciting. For us, in California," Lee said.