CRESCENT BAR - Year-around Crescent Bar residents who were here for the event, are convinced a funnel cloud, or twister, swept through the resort on the evening of March 10.
All of the damage occurred in the area of the golf course club house, the commercial area and the Crescent Bar Condos. Most of it was uprooted trees.
"If it had come through the housing area, it would look like Japan (after the tsunami)," resident Larry Brantner said.
The housing area consists entirely of mobile homes or manufactured homes. The high wind event passed just to the east them, up the dredged channel, then turned left and crossed the island toward the Columbia River, according to Brantner.
Brantner said there was never official word that a funnel occurred, but he believes so. So does Joan Aliment, who was in her home in South Park when she heard something greater than the "usual big wind" that occasionally sweeps along the river.
"It was dark, and we didn't see anything, but it was deafening," Aliment said. "There were a few minutes where it was much louder, and then it was silent."
North Park resident Bob Duda said: "It was a twister, is what we heard."
Brantner lives in the North Park, not far from the dredged channel. He was enjoying a cigar on his deck at about 7:45 p.m. when he heard what sounded like a speeding freight train coming up the channel. The sound crescendoed as it approached.
"It was magnified by the cliffs," he said.
Branter grabbed a flashlight, went to the channel to observe, "and the water was dancing." He dashed back to his place to tie things down and wait for the worst.
Strangely, the "freight train" swept on by, and there was no damage. The next morning Brantner went out to inspect. He didn't encounter any damage until he was in the area of the Crescent Bar Condos and the golf course club house.
"Apparently it went past the housing and made a left turn," Brantner. "It had to be a funnel cloud the way it came and went. It was wild."
The Aliments found no damage where they live. They discovered damage the next morning when they left the island for work and passed through the golf course, commercial and condo area.
North Park resident JoAnn Hanson said: "The only damage we had in our park was a fake wooden roof that was covering an older trailer next to the fence that was ripped off and went into the field. It seems to have started in that area and then across the field."
Trees went down on three sides of the condos, and those trees damaged others as they went down. But they did not damage the condos. Trees also went down along hole No. 1 and the practice green at the golf course, not far from the condos.
"The roof on the condos (was) amazing to see. The heavy red tiles just peeled back," Hanson said. "Two broken windows on the upper level from broken tiles."