The violent funnel cloud tore the roofs off of buildings, destroyed cars and uprooted traffic signals when the storm hit around 8 pm.
The Grünberg city district of Lumda in Gießen county was hit particularly hard, with some 10 buildings losing their roofs completely, while another 44 sustained heavy damages, police said.
The destruction in Lumda will likely to cost hundreds of thousands of euros, authorities estimated.
About 70 kilometres away the town of Schlüchtern in Main-Kinzig county also reported damaged roofs and upturned shipping containers.
“The tornado cut a path through the entire city,” a fire department spokesperson said, adding that they had gone out on 25 separate calls following the tornado.
The fire department also had to handle tornado fallout itself – half of the roof on one of their utility buildings blew off, and flying debris damaged 24 vehicles, the spokesperson said.
“We had just come from a cellar fire and were surprised when we returned,” he said.
Authorities planned to begin surveying damage to the eastern Hessian town early on Tuesday.
Some 250 emergency workers from fire departments, police and disaster relief organisation the Technische Hilfswerk (THW), were reportedly out until midnight helping residents in the region after the disaster.
Fortunately, no injuries related to the twister were reported.