The North Bend Eagle


 

Crashed pivotThis is one of two pivots of Steve Arneal's that was mangled just north of North Bend Friday.

More winds batter area pivots

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/19/13

For at least the third time this spring and early summer, violent winds and possible tornadoes blew through the North Bend area Friday evening [June 14, 2013].

Darrin Bjorklund was working at his shop about a half mile north of North Bend, not overly concerned about the approaching storm.

“They were talking about it the radio,” he said, “but we were working and not really paying attention. We knew it was going to rain and blow, but we didn’t think anything like that was going to happen.”

Damage crossThis crucifix in Woodland Cemetery was toppled and broken by high winds Friday evening.

He was in his truck when the wind suddenly picked up shortly after 8 p.m., rocking it back and forth. He watched as a nearby car slid several feet as the gusts struck it.

At the nearby Cerny Auto Parts salvage yard, more cars were getting tossed about.

One car rolled and flipped about 30 yards. Another car was flipped onto another car.

Tom Cerny was at his home in town when the storm hit, but he was surprised at the damage he found later at his shop.

“It didn’t seem that bad in town,” Cerny said, “but something came through (at the shop) and hit us. It was pretty amazing. It picked up some (car) hoods and barrels. Some hoods were ripped off and mangled. One was tossed 150 yards, easily.”

Cerny found a couple of his shop’s double-paned windows damaged. The interior panes were shattered, but the outer panes were intact except for a small BB-sized puncture.

The storm moved east, destroying an enclosed porch (see page 4) and mutilating a pair of pivots belonging to Steve Arneal.

Continuing east, the storm hit Woodland Cemetery, where an eight foot tall crucifix statue was knocked off its pedestal and broken into several pieces.

While the storm moved from west to east, some items were found to be blown to the west, fueling speculation that the swirling winds of a tornado caused the damage.

“The way things are moved around here,” Cerny said, “it definitely doesn’t seem like it’d be a straight-line wind.”

Steve Richardson watched the storm from his porch in town after sending his children to the safety of the basement. He saw a funnel cloud descending northeast of town, though it never touched down.

“It was dark at the top and had a white trunk coming down from it,” he said. “Oh, gosh, it was there for 15, 20 seconds before it dissipated.”

Richardson said he couldn’t tell how far away from North Bend the funnel cloud was at that time. He estimated it could have been as many as five miles to the northeast.

Friday’s storm joins damage-causing and pivot-tipping storms from April 9 and May 27 that may have spawned tornadoes in the area.

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