Small tornado rips barn apart in Hockinson

Small tornado rips barn apart in Hockinson

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.

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.

The barn was the only reported damage from the tornado.

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