Saturday, October 15, 2016

Rare, Damaging Tornadoes Sweep Oregon Coast; New Big Storm Still Coming

Aftermath of a destructive tornado in coastal
Manzanita, Oregon on Friday.  
Coastal Oregon suffered the very rare spectacle of damaging tornadoes on Friday.

The hardest hit town was the coastal town of Manzanita, where the tornado damaged homes, ripped down trees and cut power.  

You can see a video of the tornado taken from a nearby hillside at the bottom of this post.

The Manzanita tornado was among the most destructive in Oregon history, says television station KATU in Portland, Oregon. 

In Manzanita, one home and two businesses were destroyed. At least 128 other homes were damaged in the EF2 twister, which packed winds of between 125 and 130 mph.

Tornadoes happen from time to time in Oregon, but their rarely this strong. KATU reports that there have been 106 tornadoes in Oregon since 1950, but only four were rated EF2 or higher. The rest were weaker.

Another tornado touched down in Oceanside, Oregon Friday, but that one caused little if any damage.

The Oregon twisters were part of an intense series of storms hitting the Pacific Northwest this weekend. Elsewhere in the Northwest, strong winds downed power lines and some rivers went into flood as a strong storm crashed ashore Friday.

The worst might be yet to come. Though chances of more tornadoes are relatively slight, another strong storm will hit the Pacific Northwest today. It's energized by the remnants of Typhoon Songda.

Fears have subsided that this would be as bad as the epic, destructive storm of 1962, widespread damaging winds are likely today in Oregon and Washington. Even in relatively protected Seattle, winds could gust to 65 mph late this afternoon and evening.

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