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Wind Damages Businesses in Walters

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Walters, Ok_Two businessmen in Walters are cleaning up the damage from strong winds after a severe thunderstorm blew in Tuesday morning, bringing straight line winds that reached 60 miles-per-hour.

  The winds toppled a large silo at the Walters Co-op near 7th and Missouri.  The bolts used to hold it up were still attached to the base, just a few feet away.

  "Damage wasn't as important as losing the business, so we cleaned the facility so we can start back the use shortly," said Walters Co-op manager Jerry Krasser, who has seen this type of damage before.

  In 2000, straight line winds knocked over the same 40-ton silo.  Krasser said this time it fell a few feet from his office. His crew used a bulldozer to move it.

  Krasser said the silo is normally filled with wheat and the business is packed with agriculture producers.   "It could have been very destructive had it happened in the middle of the day, late evening...we usually operate until 11 o'clock at night. So it could have been with trucks because trucks sit right beside the bin."

  Meanwhile, just across the street, a convenience store lost part of its roof in the storm.  A clerk who was inside when it happened reported hearing strong winds rattling the air conditioner on top of the roof.

  Shortly after, pieces of the roof were thrown to the ground.  There was also damage to the store's ceiling and installation but employees are now back on the job.

  The silo cost about $250,000 to replace, but insurance should help get another silo up within the next two weeks.  As for the convenience store, workers are waiting on an assessor to give them an estimate.

  Despite the damage, no one was hurt.

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