Tennessee Twister Targets Gibson Plant

April 2006 News
The last thing you want to hear about in houseboat country is a wayward twister. An April 8 report from the The Tennesseean described just that, although instead of bearing down on a dock or marina, it went after a houseboat manufacturing plant...

About 40 workers inside the Gibson houseboat factory in Goodlettsville rushed for safety minutes before a tornado tore through, ripping off the roof and throwing debris on top of people and boats. Cecil Brown, the maintenance manager at the plant, said a cement block wall fell on him and he had to dig himself out.
"We looked at the Weather Channel and saw that some storms were coming and went to make a decision on whether we were going to send people home," said Ed Wooden, plant manager at Gibson Fiberglass Products Inc. at 308 Church St., Goodlettsville. "We rounded people up to put in the front of the building" in a break area with steel beams, he said.

One person saw the funnel cloud. "We watched it, and I said, 'Let's go, guys.' We all ran, and within a matter of seconds it just came through." One man's shoulder was injured and other people were hurt, but no one seriously, Wooden said. Four houseboats were at the plant, one finished, and they were damaged.

"I hope they rebuild," Wooden said of the houseboat business' owners. "I don't know if they will or not. There will be a lot guys out of work" if they don't.

Participants in the Champion Owners Ultimate Challenge fishing tournament in Gallatin had a close call as well, said David Barnett, head of marketing and tournament director for the Murfreesboro-based Stratos/Champion boat company.

Source: The Tennesseean, April 8, 2006
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