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Weather Service confirms tornado in McMinnville

Marcus Larson/News-Register<br><b>Water & Light workers remove several strips of sheet metal roof tiles that flew through the air and landed across the street, wrapping themselves around power lines.</b>
Marcus Larson/News-Register
Water & Light workers remove several strips of sheet metal roof tiles that flew through the air and landed across the street, wrapping themselves around power lines.

Jun 14, 2013 | 1 Comment

The Associated Press

It was indeed a tornado that damaged several buildings Thursday in the community of McMinnville, the National Weather Service has confirmed.

Nobody was hurt, but three commercial buildings, all of them used for storage, were damaged, McMinnville Fire Chief Rich Leipfert said. The porch roof on one nearby home also sustained minor damage, Leipfert said.

A two-person NWS storm survey team dispatched to the scene confirmed the damage was caused by a tornado.

The tornado's estimated top winds in the most damaged area ranged from 86 to 90 miles per hour, Weather Service meteorologist Treena Hartley said late Thursday night. That puts it in the EF1 storm category.

Elsewhere it was defined by the damage found as an EF0. That class of storm has winds from 65-85 mph, Hartley said.

Experts look at debris patterns to confirm whether a tornado is responsible for damage, meteorologist Miles Higa said. The survey team also reported some damaged trees near the buildings that were hit.

The McMinnville tornado hit at about 4:30 p.m., he said.

Funnel clouds reportedly were also seen Thursday afternoon in or near the communities of Hillsboro, Albany and Harrisburg, Higa said.

Tornadoes in Oregon are rare. The last notable twister struck Aumsville, east of Salem, in December 2010, according to a list on the National Weather Service website. The storm caused more than $1 million in damage to 50 homes and four businesses, but nobody was injured.

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09:59 am - Fri, June 14 2013
Seabiscuit said:
Glad no one was hurt.

Guess it goes to show how strange the weather pattern around a tornado can be. I stopped within a block of that area, apparently just before it hit. I checked the call log on my cell phone and I had made a call at 4:17 and at 4:28 PM. The 4:28 call only lasted about 3 minutes, then I pulled back onto Lafayette Ave at Riverside Drive and headed out towards the Airport. Remember some very heavy rain, but it was coming almost straight down with little to no wind and only lasted a minute or so. Didn't see any funnel cloud or experience any heavy wind.
Guess I should have been watching the rearview mirror a little closer!

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