LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — A rare tornado ripped down power lines and damaged property Thursday in the city of Longview in Washington state, but there were no immediate reports of injuries, officials said.
Police asked residents to avoid a damaged section of the city in southwest Washington.
The Rev. Eric Atcheson said he saw the funnel cloud form and touch down near his church. He barely made it inside before the wind tore through an alley between two church buildings.
“There is a pre-school in the building, so I was able to make sure all our kids and teachers are safe,” he said.
The church didn’t sustain any damage but several trees were knocked down, he said.
Tornadoes are rare in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest, where the Pacific Ocean generally prevents severe temperature changes.
Jennifer Rossetti saw debris flying past her window and says wind blew the door from a nearby office supply store. Video taken by another person appeared to shows roof tiles being blown from a building.
Jalen West, a 17-year-old Kelso High School student, said a resource officer ran into the gym during his physical education class and told everyone to head to the locker room for safety.
“There are downed trees, but the school is OK,” he said.
A damage estimate was not immediately available.
Longview is located about 50 miles north of Portland, Oregon.
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