Small tornado rips barn apart in Washington

Small tornado rips barn apart in Washington »Play Video
The barn in Hockinson that was damaged by a possible tornado. (Photo from Kathryn Tilkin)

HOCKINSON, Wash. – A powerful storm cell rolled through the Hockinson area on Thursday afternoon, creating a small tornado, according to the National Weather Service.

The tornado ripped the roof off of Don Gitner’s barn.

It “scattered debris from the barn all over our field,” Gitner said.

The NWS categorized the tornado as a F0, which is the weakest type of tornado.

Gitner's wife Irene witnessed the tornado, which only lasted about 10 or 15 seconds before moving east.

“My wife came to the kitchen and looked out the back window and it hit the barn,” Gitner said. He said nobody was hurt.

Irene said the sky turned black.

"There was a white twister settled on top of the roof" of the barn, she said, adding that the event only lasted about 15 seconds.

Mike Gitner was at his home about a quarter mile away when he said it started to hail.

"I heard some metal banging, and I looked up this way, and all of the sudden the roof took off, and it was up in the air, 40, 50, 60 feet up in the air and it was spinning around" before it was thrown into a neighbor's yard about 700 feet away, he said.

Meteorologist Dave Salesky said KATU’s VIPIR weather radar showed a strong cell in the area at the time of the tornado.