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Reported tornado rips off roof in McMinnville

Flash storm causes no injuries, several buildings damaged along Alpine Ave.

Marcus Larson / News-Register<br><b>Inside view of 1205 NE 11th Way where tenant Spencer Wriggelsworth took shelter during the tornado and came away without a scratch.</b>
Marcus Larson / News-Register
Inside view of 1205 NE 11th Way where tenant Spencer Wriggelsworth took shelter during the tornado and came away without a scratch.

Jun 13, 2013


News-Register Staff

UPDATE / Thursday, 6:40 p.m.:

The National Weather Service issued a warning, noting tornado-like activity had been reported in McMinnville. It said, “There is also a report of a funnel cloud in Hillsboro,” but added, “Conditions for further funnel cloud development should end by 7 p.m.”

The agency said it would be sending personnel to determine whether the damage was caused by a tornado or microburst.

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A tornado reportedly touched down in McMinnville shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, ripping the roofs off at least three buildings at 1205 N.E. 11th Way.

"We're putting the ladder up now to see exactly how many roofs were damaged," McMinnville Fire Chief Rich Leipfert said.

Emergency crews shut down several feeder streets from Lafayette Avenue, and on Eighth street, and temporarily shut down Highway 18 eastbound, as well as notifying the National Weather Service, airport and the county Emergency Management Department.

Traffic is shut down temporarily on Lafayette Avenue, but  Leipfert said it should be opened up again by 6:30 p.m. Water & Light crews were on hand, removing debris from downed power lines.

The National Weather Service noted that a tornado had been reported in a special weather statement, noting that “there is also a report of a funnel cloud in Hillsboro. Conditions for further funnel cloud development should end by 7 p.m.”

Kelly McDonald, managing partner in the Granary District said that he saw the tornado hit.

“I was just across the way and I saw the whole roof roll up off of the building,” he told the 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 was driving from Safeway along Lafayette Avenue toward downtown when torrential hailstorm occurred. He didn’t see any cloud, but he did see building debris flying in circles about 100 feet in the air as if a tornado was there.

“It looked like a confused flock of birds,” Cahill said.

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