© AP Photo/The Daily News, John Markon
Workers bring roofing material to start temporary repairs on the roof of the Carl's Towing building, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 in Longview, Wash.
The southwest Washington city of Longview tallied the damage Friday from a rare tornado that tore off roofs, broke windows and uprooted trees, leaving residents and officials in disbelief. No one was injured in the Thursday afternoon wind blast, which covered 1.3 miles and unleashed winds as high as 110 mph, the National Weather Service said.
Police and fire crews responded quickly to the hardest-hit area, but Longview Fire Chief Phil Jurmu admitted his first reaction was puzzlement. "I kind of furrowed my brow, probably, and said, 'What?'" he told KATU-TV of Portland.
Tornadoes are rare in Washington state and the Pacific Northwest, where the nearby Pacific Ocean generally prevents severe temperature changes. But another one hit southwest Washington in 1972 and caused damage in Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.