No one was injured but several buildings and vehicles were damaged when a tornado tore through communities on Washington state's southern border Thursday afternoon, authorities told NBC News.
The National Weather Service said the tornado touched down about 12:40 p.m. (3:40 p.m. ET) in Cowlitz County as a windy autumn weather system dumped heavy rain and thundershowers over southern Washington and northern Oregon. About an hour later, the weather service said a thunderstorm "capable of producing a funnel cloud" was moving over the Oregon town of Boring.
Claire Haugie, a spokeswoman for the Cowlitz County Emergency Management Department, told NBC News that power lines were down and that there was some damage to structures. Helicopter video shot by NBC station KGW of Portland, Oregon, showed numerous damaged vehicles in the town of Longview, including a white van that was crushed under debris. A building had part of its roof blown off, exposing two offices and a restroom.
The wind also blew the roof off the gym at Kessler Elementary School in Longview, the school's secretary told KGW, but no one was hurt.
"I saw what looked like an enormous dust devil, and then these large panels off a roof started falling everywhere," Denny Malloy, who was driving through Longview when the wind started swirling around his truck, told KGW. "It seemed like everyone was pretty stunned."
— M. Alex Johnson and Zoya Taylor