NWS: Tornado touches down at Aurora airport, flipping two planes

A small tornado flipped over this plane and one other at the Aurora State Airport on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 12, 2017. It also caused minor damage to a building and a nearby greenhouse. (Photo: Aurora Aviation Inc.)

The National Weather Service said a small tornado touched down near the Aurora State Airport Thursday afternoon around 3:45 p.m. and flipped over two small planes.

The storm prompted the NWS to issue a tornado warning.

Meteorologists reported there was "definite rotation, strong enough to produce tornado."

The NWS later said its preliminary investigation determined it was an EF0 twister, the weakest kind, with peak winds between 65 mph to 70 mph. It briefly touched down at the north end of the airport.

Even though it was small, the tornado was strong even to flip the planes and move others from their original positions. The weather service said the tornado caused minor damage to a building at 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.

KATU viewer Jacob Jaynes captured the below video of what appeared to be the tornado touching down.

The NWS allowed the tornado warning to expire by 4:15 p.m. after the storm weakened significantly.

Linda Tate saw the funnel.

"Your heart just drops, because you suddenly realize you have no control, none -- Mother Nature has taken over," she said.


Chloe Corless had been waiting all day for the Molalla homecoming parade but the school pushed it back when the tornado warning was issued. All the students in the parade had to shelter in place.

"Everyone was against the wall, sitting down in the middle, kind of in the hallway, and they said (to) stay away glass," Corless said.

No injuries were reported.

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