Tornado Strikes Oregon Town

December 15, 2010

A rare tornado struck a small town in Oregon, about 45 miles south of Portland, Ore., on Tuesday. While no serious injuries were reported, the town center of Aumsville suffered major damage, and some families have been forced to move into temporary housing because of structural loss, according to local news reports.

The storm damaged 50 homes; all but 10 of them are still suitable for living, Don Thomson, a spokesman for the Marion County sheriff’s office, told the Associated Press. Damage was visible to a handful of businesses, including a downtown plumbing store that was leveled. No dollar damage estimate was immediately available, the AP reported.

The state Department of Consumer and Business Services has advised families to contact their insurers as soon as possible.

Damage from winds, including tornadoes, is covered by the typical homeowner policy, DCBS said.

“Putting together detailed information about your losses, including photographs or video of the damage, will help the insurance company process your claim as quickly as possible,” said Teresa Miller, administrator of the Oregon Insurance Division. The division is part of the DCBS.

Tornadoes in Oregon are rare. Twister was the first to touch down in the state since Dec. 9, 2009, when a tornado hit Lincoln County near the coast, according to a list from the National Weather Service. Eleven homes and three cars were damaged there, but no one was hurt.

It was one of four Oregon tornadoes in the past decade, all causing only property damage, the weather service said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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