'The trees and everything, they were just twisting'

'The trees and everything, they were just twisting' »Play Video
Oregon's tornado alley? A twister cut a 1.5 mile long, 150 foot wide swath across fields near Peoria, Ore.

Near PEORIA, Ore. -- Bill McLaren has seen many storms in his life, but last Thursday's storm was different. 

"All of the sudden it just got dark," he said.  "You could watch the trees and everything, they were just twisting. Wasn't just a straight push wind, it was real turbulent like crazy."

Based on the twisting motion of the wind, McLaren suspected it was a tornado.  His suspicions were correct, says the National Weather Service.

He happened to have a camera on him and snapped several photos, which he later submitted to KVAL's YouNews Web site.

KVAL contacted the National Weather Service to confirm McLaren's report.  They sent someone to his home to investigate.

McLaren gave KVAL a tour of the tornado's path, much like the one he gave the representative from the National Weather Service.

It starts in his wheat field, where some stalks are flattened in curved patterns.

The National Weather Service said these circular carvings indicate a tornado.

So does the story of McLaren's greenhouse.  He says the wind picked it up and threw it across the yard.

"Didn't upset anything in the greenhouse, just picked it up and threw it on its top," he said.

According to the National Weather Service, the greenhouse landed 21 miles away--in the opposite direction of the prevailing storm winds. That suggests rotation inside the storm.

McLaren is humble about his discovery.  "I thought that was pretty cool."