Tornado Causes Damage in Cowlitz County - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tornado Causes Damage in Cowlitz County

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A tornado caused damage in Cowlitz County in the Longview area.  Picture courtesy of Veronica Mirehouse A tornado caused damage in Cowlitz County in the Longview area. Picture courtesy of Veronica Mirehouse
LONGVIEW, Wash. - KGW in Portland reports a tornado caused damage in Cowlitz County Thursday afternoon and the weather continues to be unstable, authorities warned.

Denny Malloy was driving through Longview when the wind started swirling around his truck.

"I saw what looked like an enormous dust devil and then these large panels off a roof started falling everywhere," he said. "It seemed like everyone was pretty stunned."

Then, he watched in shock as the wind ripped the roof off a nearby appliance store.

The wind also blew the roof off the gym at Kessler Elementary School, according to the school secretary, but no one was hurt.

A woman named Flo told KGW she was driving home with her granddaughter and was lucky enough to get inside before it hit her car. "We ran in the house real fast. I said 'Oh my God, is that a tornado?' And then I told my granddaughter 'Get in the house! Get in the house!'"

Flo said she noticed that the twister touched ground and then lifted back up more than once, uprooting trees and bending signs in random spots along her neighborhood streets.

A commenter on the Cowlitz County DEM Facebook page reported seeing debris flying everywhere when the storm hit. Another person said part of a business called Carl's Towing "just got taken out by what sounds like a tornado."

Officials with the Department of Emergency Management alerted people to "stay away from windows and off phones" and beware of downed power lines in the Longview and Kelso areas.

At one point they said the tornado appeared to be heading toward the Cowlitz Way Bridge. Then, around 130 p.m., they tweeted that it was breaking up north of Kelso, but could be followed by more severe weather.

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