National Weather Service: Tornado touched down between Banks and Forest Grove

Thatcher – The Portland branch of the National Weather Service has confirmed that damage caused at a nursery in the historic community of Thatcher outside of Forest Grove on Monday afternoon was from a tornado.

A funnel cloud was spotted on Monday afternoon around 2:25 p.m. by multiple eyewitnesses who captured the event on video in the areas of Thatcher Road and Kemper Road between Forest Grove and Banks. One person, Jim Roofener, had to run for cover as a tornado damaged greenhouses at the nursery he and his wife Debbie manage, according to an email from Debbie Roofener to the Post.

According to Portland’s KPTV, the Roofeners believe that tornado caused about $100,000 in damage.

Portland National Weather Service staff walk around the pond where Jim Roofener says he saw a tornado begin. Chas Hundley//Banks Post

In addition to the damage caused at the nursery, a brief power outage was caused by the tornado, according to Forest Grove Light and Power. The  area that was impacted was at “Thatcher Rd/Hillside Rd and surrounding area at about 2:30 and it was due to a small tornado,” read a statement by the agency in a Facebook post.

According to John Bonk with the Portland NWS in a briefing to news media on Tuesday morning, the tornado was very short lived. “I would equate it to putting a pen dot down on a page. That’s how fast it dropped down and lifted back up,” he said.  He pointed to a few factors in he and Matthew Cullins, also with Portland NWS, assessment. A few bent metal bars on a greenhouse in in one spot – a few hundred feet away, an undisturbed pile of bark dust sat.

It’s not yet known what rating on the he tornado will receive on the Enhanced Fujita (EF) rating system, pending an assessment by Portland NWS in their offices.

This is the third tornado to touch down in Oregon in two days, with one EF-0, the smallest strength, touching down in North Portland on Sunday afternoon, and another tornado touching down on Monday afternoon near Jefferson, Oregon.

Visit this article to view video footage of the subsequent funnel cloud after it had touched down at the nursery.