National Weather Service confirms tornado caused damage near Vancouver

NWS confirmed there was an EF-0 north of Vancouver Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Photo courtesy Lisa Ingle

PORTLAND, Ore. – The National Weather Service in Portland confirmed an EF-0 tornado caused minor damage north of Vancouver Thursday.

The tornado started at the intersection of NE 31st Avenue and 144th Street at 3:05 p.m., where a large tree lost several limbs, and a fence was blown over. Another tree was damaged at NE 31st Avenue and NE 143rd Street, and the path of damage ended near the cul-de-sac on NE 33rd Avenue. Patio furniture, a fence and another tree were damaged.

They also confirmed a small tornado touched down near the Aurora State Airport Thursday around 3:45 p.m. That tornado was strong enough to flip over two small planes.

The NWS said its preliminary investigation determined it was an EF-0 twister, the weakest kind, with peak winds between 65 mph to 70 mph. It briefly touched down at the north end of the airport.

There was also a report of trees down at Boones Ferry Road NE between Cessna Street and Arndt Road NE, where multiple power lines were taken down.

More damage was reported at Smith Gardens, just west of the airport, where multiple glass greenhouses and their main office were damaged.

A tornado warning was in effect Thursday, but it expired at 4:15 p.m. after the storm weakened significantly.

In north Vancouver at Kari Weller's home, the tornado knocked down her fence and part of a tree.

"I said it was a tornado but had no idea it was a tornado at the time," Weller said.

Her front yard was covered in branches Friday. Her neighbor's home looked untouched.

Weller took photos of the aftermath and shared them with KATU News and the National Weather Service. The NWS said photos, including ones on social media, help them to determine if a tornado really happened.

"Determining whether or not it's actually caused by straight-line winds or a tornado is pretty complicated. We're looking for signs of rotation, sometimes that means things are thrown one direction and things are thrown the other direction which can be indicative of a rotation," said Evan Bentley, a NWS meteorologist.

No injuries were reported from either tornadoes.

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