A tornado damaged several buildings in McMinnville, a Northwestern Oregon city on Thursday, but luckily, there were no reported injuries, the National Weather Service told the Associated Press.
No one was hurt but McMinnville Fire Chief Rich Leipfert says three commercial buildings — all used for storage — were damaged. He says a McMinnville porch roof also sustained minor damage.
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“I was just across the way and I saw the whole roof roll up off of the building," Kelly McDonald, managing partner of a nearby development, told the Yamhill Valley News-Register. “I wish I’d had the presence of mind to take a picture. I was just trying to get everyone inside."
Sean Cahill got caught in a torrential hailstorm as he was driving in McMinnville. He didn’t see any clouds, he said, but he did see building debris flying in circles about 100 feet in the air in McMinnville.
“It looked like a confused flock of birds," Cahill said.
Weather Service meteorologist Miles Higa in Portland says a NWS storm survey team dispatched to the McMinnville site confirms a tornado but has not yet determined its wind speed or strength.
McMinnville is southwest of Portland.
Higa says the agency also received reports of funnel clouds seen in or near Hillsboro, Albany and Harrisburg.
Tornadoes in Oregon are rare. The last notable twister struck Aumsville, east of Salem, in December 2010, according to the National Weather Service. The storm caused more than $1 million in damage to 50 homes and four businesses, but there were no reported injuries.
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