UPDATE: Tornado touchdown confirmed in Cottage Grove, second funnel spottedSouth Cottage Grove neighborhood damaged by afternoon tornado
By: Jon Avise, South Washington County Bulletin
A tornado touched down near U.S. Highway 61 and Highway 95 in southern Cottage Grove shortly after 2:45 p.m. Wednesday, the Washington County Sheriff's Department confirmed.
A department spokesperson said the funnel touched down briefly before moving northeast over River Oaks Golf Course. Downed trees littered Lockridge Avenue, east of Highway 61.
"I was looking out the window and it was just like a wind I never heard before," said Jim Naatz, whose Lockridge Avenue yard was strewn with branches and debris. Trees snapped "like toothpicks. One flew by the bedroom window where I was standing."
Cottage Grove public safety director Craig Woolery said a Cottage Grove officer spotted the funnel. Washington County was not under a tornado warning at the time, he said.
Woolery said a second funnel was sighted over the Norris Square senior living facility at 80th Street and Hadley Avenue a short time later.
Check www.swcbulletin.com for more on Wednesday's severe weather.
Did you see the tornado in Cottage Grove? Call the Bulletin at (651) 459-3435.