DALLAS, Ore. -- A weather microburst took out a barn in Polk County Thursday morning, according to witnesses and the National Weather Service.
A 25-year-old barn was destroyed but no one was injured, according to witnesses. Trees were also snapped and a workshop was knocked over in a matter of minutes.
Denton Honbeck, who lives next door, said a wall of debris came rolling through and he'd never seen anything like it.
"I thought it was at least a really strong twister if not a tornado," he said. "I saw a wall of almost black, with oak trees and I think, a lot of dirt and mud because there’s still dirt and mud all over the buildings and on the front of the house.”
The wind flung pieces of the barn and shop nearly a mile away.
Polk County Emergency Management received several calls from people who said they saw what looked like a tornado touching down in the Dallas area around 8:30 a.m. The NWS investigated and said it was most likely a microburst, which is not as powerful as a tornado but can still pack quite a punch.
Weather experts explained that a microburst may look like a tornado, but its winds actually shoot straight down, instead of swirling like a twister. (See diagram at left.) Microbursts have powerful winds that can knock over fully grown trees and pose great dangers to aircraft.
A debris field stretched along 2650 Adams Road in Dallas, according to Dean Bender, the Emergency Manager for Polk County.
KGW viewer Amanda Soto said she drove through what seemed like "the beginning stages of a tornado" as she headed into Dallas around 8:15 a.m.
"I saw out of my front windshield a huge cluster of leaves about 30 to 40 feet in the air. I wasn't sure what it was at first, looked like it could have been a bunch of birds," she said. "All of a sudden as I came under them, they very quickly and suddenly moved to the left and started to swirl around me."
She said it was powerful enough to move her car around.
KGW reporter Chris Willis contributed to this report.