Strong winds blew down the facade of a Pueblo West boat shop Saturday, leaving crushed cars and damaged boats beneath the twisted rubble.
“It took everything in me to keep the planks tied down,” said Tom Reyes, sales manager at the Rocky Mountain Boat Company on McCulloch Boulevard.
Wind gusts kicked up at around 2:30 p.m. and took off nearly half the building, Reyes said.
“We are really lucky that no one was injured. It wasn’t a minute and a half that I walked under the facade with a customer,” Reyes said.
There was no damage to the interior of the building, but three boats and two vehicles parked on the side of the building were damaged by the cave-in.
If this had happened during the summer, when there’s more people outside looking at the boats and our sales crew out there helping people, this could have been much worse,” Reyes said.
The cost of the damage has not been determined but Reyes said he estimates somewhere in the $100,000 or more.
“It came quick with a whole bunch of wind,” said Larry Ohrdorf, the company’s owner.
“The wind just kicked up and it was very strong,” Reyes said.
Employees were cleaning up the mess late into the night.
The cars damaged in the storm were owned by employees.
The business remained open. It was closed today and Monday, its normal off days, and reopened Tuesday.
“We are open for business,” Reyes said.
“We still have a little ways to go to get things repaired but we’re open.”
According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts peaked in Pueblo at 37 miles per hour.
“I don’t care what the weather reports said,” Reyes said. “I swear there was a big brown cloud that came through there with wind gusts more than 37 mph that took part of that building off.”
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office reported receiving calls about large amounts of tumble weeds causing havoc along county roads.
Dust storms also hit east of Pueblo along U.S. 50.
The forecast calls for winds to fade away and as cooler temperatures trickle in. The high is forecast at 57 degrees.
Last April, the Outpost Harley-Davidson building in Pueblo suffered a partial collapse during a wind storm, the Pueblo Police Department reported previously.
The damage was caused by high winds, news reports said.
“We’re lucky it wasn’t worse,” Reyes said.
© Copyright 2015 The Pueblo Chieftain & Star Journal Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.