Tornado damages Florida prison, injures two

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 17, 2014 8:34 AM

TAMPA Fla. (Reuters) - A tornado touched down at a prison in Florida's panhandle region early on Monday, injuring two correctional officers as it destroyed more than two dozen cars in a parking lot, a local sheriff said.

Both injuries were minor, and no inmates were harmed at the Calhoun Correctional Institution, Calhoun County Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel said. The tornado also damaged a perimeter fence and a roof at the state prison near Blountstown, Florida, about an hour west of Tallahassee.

Kimbrel said the tornado hit around 4 a.m. Central Time (5 a.m. ET) as officers were reporting to work.

"Thank goodness it didn't hit 15 minutes later, because we would have had a parking lot of people," said Kimbrel, who described the damage to the facility as major.

"Everything is under control here," he said. "No one has escaped."

(Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Susan Heavey)