America's Body Company recovering after tornado

Officials at an America's Body Company plant in Riverside, Missouri, are assessing the damage today in the wake of a tornado that tore off 85% of the roof and sent vehicles flying. "The facility is inoperable," said Bob Shingleton, who manages purchasing, inventory and customer service at corporate headquarters. "We don't know what the future's going to be. I'm not sure if we will open up a temporary facility. The Board of Directors is looking at it right now. Insurance adjustors are assessing the damage today. We've made sure we've contacted all of our customers to ensure them we're going to take care of them and the product."Shingleton described the damage as "extensive," but declined to go into detail. "I do know that the local railroad actually bulldozed or pushed some of our vehicles off of the tracks that were completely smashed," he said. The plant is an upfitting facility, with a pool allotment for one of the dealers. The company has 13 other facilities scattered across the U.S.An estimated 30 employees work in Riverside. Shingleton said only one was in the plant when the tornado struck Sunday afternoon -- a manager who was preparing for a Monday morning production meeting. He escaped unhurt."I think he clung to one of the I-beams and kind of hid inside of it," Shingleton said. "He said he knew he was in trouble when he heard the wind kick up and saw one of the doors fly off."The tornado was one of 83 that ripped through the Midwest and Southeast, killing 38, injuring hundreds and damaging thousands of homes and businesses in Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Officials said seven people died in Kansas, at least 17 in Missouri and at least 14 in Tennessee. Other people thought to be in the storm's path were reported missing. Although the storm also ripped through Arkansas, no deaths were reported there. Tens of thousands of buildings remained without power as utility crews worked to remove downed power lines and repair damaged substations knocked out by the weather. Storm damage appeared to be in the range of F3 or higher on the scientific Fujita scale that measures tornado strength. F3 tornadoes have winds of between 158 and 206 miles per hour and are capable of severe damage, with roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses, and most trees uprooted. F5 is the highest on the scale.

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