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Tornado destroys 2 barns, damages 3 in Linn County; funnel cloud near Molalla

A tornado, seen here in an image from video contributed to KATU, rips through rural Linn County on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. It damaged barns (upper inset) and blew debris into fields, where residents worked to clean up (bottom inset). (Inset Photos: Chopper 2/KATU News)

Five barns on a dairy farm were heavily damaged Tuesday afternoon when a tornado touched down near Lebanon.

The National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF-0 tornado that traveled 1,200 feet. Its path was 500 feet wide. The weather agency said maximum winds were between 65 mph and 75 mph. It touched down at 1:07 p.m.

A resident nearby captured the tornado on video (below).

Lebanon firefighters were called to Spencer's Dairy Farm in the area of Green Mountain Drive in Lacomb, just northeast of Lebanon, on a report that a tornado touched down there. Fire crews found two barns destroyed and three others that were damaged, at least two of those heavily.

Firefighters also found debris spread over three-quarters of mile, and several power lines and trees were blown down.

No homes were damaged, and no injuries to humans or livestock were reported.

KATU viewer Pat Hulburt, who lives down the road from the damaged barns, sent in photographs of tree branches that had been blown onto the ground and onto a road in Lacomb. An image also showed what appeared to be a piece of a building blown onto the road.

"I heard what sounded to me like heavy equipment coming down the road, a lot of it. I looked down the road and saw nothing and my husband came running. He said we need to take cover because a tornado is coming," Hulburt told KATU News.

She said there was heavy thunder and lightning, and then calm before it hit. She said afterward there was hail.

"It was the most surprising thing that ever happened to me and the scariest," she said.

KATU Meteorologist Dave Salesky said strong showers moved across the area at the time of the tornado, and the system was capable of generating strong winds. In the below video, he breaks down what happened.

Below, is a graphic created by the National Weather Service that shows the path of the tornado.

Molalla Funnel Cloud

Meanwhile around 1 p.m., reports came in that a funnel cloud was spotted about five or six miles south of Molalla, which is about 35 miles northeast of Lacomb.

On Facebook, Cornia Stempf said debris was flying in the air and big branches broke off trees and fell to the ground.

"Then went calm as can be," she wrote.

Doug Feddersen shot video (below) of the funnel cloud.


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