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Tornado does little damage

BUDE – The skies over Bude turned dark and stormy Wednesdayafternoon as a spin up tornado formed from the storm bands ofHurricane Gustav.

Delton Butler, an inspection supervisor in customer service atAmerican Railcar Industries in Bude, was leaving work around 4 p.m.when he and a couple of associates looked up and saw the tornadobeginning to form.

“It was in a horizontal state,” Butler said Thursday morning.”As it turned down it took the classic (tornado) shape.”

He said usually when tornadoes form it is raining so hard youcan’t see it coming down.

Butler said the tornado touched down in Bude near theintersection of Highways 98 and 84 and did minor damage, but he wasunaware of any injuries associated with the Wednesday storm.

“It tore the porch off our local restaurant, Micheal’s,” saidButler, while also indicating a tree was knocked down in a nearbyyard.

ARI is located at 375 Gerard St., in Bude, about a half milefrom where the tornado touched down. Butler said he snapped aseries of about seven photographs of the tornado from the parkinglot as it hovered near the area.

ARI employs about 85 workers, Butler said. The plant had justended its workday at 3:30 p.m. and most of the workers had gonehome. Only about 20 people were left at the plant when warnings ofthe tornado began to go off.

“We had heard the bulletins and the sirens going off,” Butlersaid.

He said those left at the plant were heeding the warnings.

Brandy Mann, a dispatcher with the Franklin County Sheriff’sDepartment, said Thursday morning that there were actually threefunnel clouds spotted in the area and two tornadoes were seen.

“There were some trees down and a few shingles torn off,” Mannsaid. “But no injuries.”

Bude Police Chief Gordon Dover said crews worked yesterday toclear a couple of blocked roads and residents were in the processof cleaning yards Thursday morning.