Suspected tornado picks up Jeep with occupants in Oregon parking lot
(Reuters) - A rare suspected tornado in Oregon swept across a parking lot at a community college in the city of Eugene, lifting up a Jeep with two people inside and damaging three other vehicles, officials said on Wednesday.
Oregon gets only a handful of tornadoes each year, and they are usually weak, said National Weather Service meteorologist Liana Ramirez. She said meteorologists believe this was a small tornado and are working to confirm that determination.
No one was injured from the suspected tornado on Tuesday afternoon at Lane Community College in Eugene, about 100 miles (161 km) south of Portland, officials said.
The Jeep with the two people sitting inside was lifted about 5 feet (1.5 meters) off the ground before dropping back down, according to Joan Aschim, a spokeswoman for the college.
"I'm sure it was frightening for the two occupants," Aschim said, adding that few people were in the parking lot at the time.
A car was flipped around in the air and landed on another vehicle, and a fourth vehicle was flipped over and landed on its roof, Aschim said.
The Oregonian newspaper on its website posted photos submitted by a student at the college showing a sedan lying on its roof on a grassy space in the parking lot and another vehicle with part of its roof and windshield caved in.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Editing by Eric M. Johnson and Will Dunham)