A tornado barreled through the small coastal community of Manzanita Friday morning, leaving behind torn roofs, damaged homes and destroyed businesses. Thousands are without power, while utility crews prepare for an even worse storm Saturday.
The National Weather Service based in Portland said its preliminary data confirmed the tornado was an EF2 and had maximum winds of 125 to 130 mph. It said the tornado traveled on the ground for almost three quarters of a mile and at its maximum was 225 yards wide.
The tornado touched down in Mazanita around 8:20 a.m. City officials say one home and two businesses were destroyed and 128 other homes were damaged. A third of the town’s trees were downed during the storm.
A second tornado was confirmed in Oceanside about 40 minutes later, according to the National Weather Service. No damage or injuries have been reported in that area, mostly because the tornado only briefly touched down on the beach.
“This can all be repaired… the trees will grow, the house we can fix, but you can’t put a human life back together when it’s gone,” Manzanita resident Steve Brennan said.
In all, the NWS office in Portland issued 10 Tornado Warnings Friday morning — shattering their all-time record of 2 in the same day. Their last Tornado Warning was Nov. 23, 2014.
County Sheriff Andy Long says the tornado was about “10 streets wide.”
Debbie Harmon, owner of the Amanita Galley in Manzanita, said most of the damage is near the beach and downtown.
This is the third tornado-producing storm in the county’s history dating back to 1950, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The most destructive of which was a tornado back in 1975 in Tillamook that left behind $2.5 million in property damage. It’s the second costliest tornado in Oregon history.
The state of Oregon has seen 106 tornadoes since 1950, but only four of these tornadoes were rated higher than F1 of the Fujita Scale. Just one tornado caused enough damage to receive an F3 rating, and that tornado was responsible for all six recorded tornado deaths in the state’s history.
by KATU.com Staff and Associated Press
Friday, October 14th 2016