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Gardner Just Misses Driving Through Tornado and Helps Clear Debris

Colorado Republican and his daughter were driving from Denver to Yuma on Sunday

Sen. Cory Gardner took photographs of the tornado destruction. (Courtesy Cory Gardner)
Sen. Cory Gardner took photographs of the tornado destruction. (Courtesy Cory Gardner)

Sen. Cory Gardner happened to be driving to his hometown of Yuma, Colorado, from Denver with his daughter on Sunday when he noticed a storm was coming.

“We were heading back toward home and the clouds were terrible, it was just black, pitch black sky. I looked at the radar and you could see coming up,” he said.

The drive home from Denver is a little over two hours, and the Gardners had made it to Fort Morgan.

“I could see the temperature dropped about 25 degrees. I turned to my daughter and said, ‘We’re not going any further, that is bad,’” the Colorado Republican said.

They went into a store to wait it out. When they got back on the road, they could see trees knocked over, then signs knocked over, then trucks knocked over.

Sen. Cory Gardner took photographs of the tornado destruction. (Courtesy of Gardner)
Sen. Cory Gardner took photographs of the tornado destruction. (Courtesy Cory Gardner)

He passed his friend, whose car “looked like someone had taken a hammer to it,” Gardner said.

Another 50 feet down the road, in Brush, an airport hangar was “obliterated,” with planes destroyed and roofs torn off cars.

The senator pulled over and started to help. The mayor of Brush, Rick Bain, was also on the scene as Gardner tried to clear some of the boards and metal from the highway.

That drive is a familiar one for Gardner because he flies to D.C. from the Denver airport. On Monday morning, he took the same route to catch his flight.

“What was so sad about it, this morning I had to drive back to the airport [and] there was full sun this morning,” he said.

In that light, he could see the scope of the damage.

“The corn crops just looked like they’d been mulched,” the senator said.

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