Tornado touches down in St. Helens; damage reported to home, two other buildings

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ST. HELENS, OR (KPTV) – A tornado touched down in St. Helens on Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

FOX 12 viewers sent in video of an apparent funnel cloud in the St. Helens area. By 2 p.m., the National Weather Service confirmed it was a tornado.

The tornado touched down in St. Helens around 12:20 p.m.

Damage was reported to the roof of a home. At least two other buildings were damaged by large limbs.

People who live in the area of Oak Ridge Street and Pittsburgh in St. Helens said just after 12:30 p.m., they saw debris flying as a tornado ripped through their neighborhood.

“The wind just, I mean the amount of wind it was crazy, and you could see it because of everything in the air, tree limbs just flying off of things,” Tracy Oliver said.

Oliver said her yard was covered with garbage and is a total mess.

Her umbrella cover is now a mangled, twisted piece of metal and cloth.

“It was bolted to the deck over the hot tub, and it’s obviously in shambles, and obviously the hot tub lid which I can’t pick up it’s too heavy,” she said.

Gary and Laurie Hallaian said they narrowly missed their home getting destroyed. A tree fell just a few feet away from their home and on their deck.

“We’re so lucky it didn’t come across this right here that would have just dropped it,” Laurie said.

Nathan Barnes said he heard rumbling outside and went to check it out.

“I looked right here, and there was just like a big funnel cloud that touched down right here, and then this tree was down,” Barnes said.

The neighbors said the whole thing lasted about three or four minutes and still can’t believe a tornado touched down here.

“What is happening? Like we live in the Pacific Northwest, what is happening? We don’t have tornadoes,” Oliver said.

Columbia River Fire and Rescue confirmed that one home and a couple of other buildings were damaged, but no one was hurt.

by Fox 12 Staff (2020, Nov 10)

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Kyrie Wagner