Tornado hit Aumsville a year ago

AUMSVILLE, Ore. - As a roar thundered over his Main Street barber shop, Steven Worden looked up from his client's hair and saw a big black cloud come over his shop.

"It started hailing and it got worse then all the sudden the wind started howling, it just got worse and harder and harder and then it just blew the whole roof off," Worden told KVAL News, the first news organization in Oregon on the scene that day a year ago. "When the roof came off, it just started swirling, glass started breaking, the TV came down and the air conditioner went with the roof."

Up and down Main Street, business owners watched the funnel cloud smash through the town just before noon on Dec. 14, 2010.

The tornado tore a path 5 miles long and 150 yards wide across Oregon, delivering winds estimated at 120 mph, the National Weather Service later determined..

"It was just swirling like in the middle of Main Street," said Sharon Ciampi, who was in her coffee shop at 10th and Main. "It was probably 100 feet wide and 120 feet tall and it was just swirling, like, wow, it's a tornado."

Juanita Nichol was over in Stayon at the Ford dealership when the tornado hit.

She moved to Aumsville in 1942. She are her husband started T G Nichol Plumbing in 1959, and in 1962 they built the building that housed the business - until Tuesday.

"I didn't know any of this happened," Nichol told KVAL News. "I just came in and they told me that my building was gone."

Over the next several days, members of the Aumsville community banded together to clean up and rebuild.

Donations poured in from across Oregon.

And Oregonians everywhere learned that a tornado, while rare, can happen in Oregon.

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