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Tornado Injures One, Damages Greenhouses

April 3, 1987

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) _ A tornado ripped the roofs off greenhouses as it whipped through a large nursery today, and at least one person was injured, authorities said.

Eva Cabrera, a dispatcher for the Monterey County emergency center, said the funnel cloud hit the 35-acre Sunnyside Nursery some 80 miles south of San Francisco at 8:14 a.m.

Sunnyside employee Lorna Wheatley said 16 nurseries were damaged and one employee was treated at the scene after a fiberglass roof collapsed on him.

″We saw it coming and it just came so fast that nobody could do anything about it. It tore off the fiberglass roofs in the houses,″ Wheatley said.

″You could see it going up into the air,″ she said. ″It was huge, as far as width and height. It was going up higher and higher and becoming narrower and narrower and then it went away.″

Wheatley said there are 200 employees at the nursery, but the tornado went through a rather unpopulated area.

″It could have been a lot worse,″ she said.

The Weather Service predicted thunderstorms for northern and central California through tonight and said funnel cloud sightings are expected. Funnel clouds become tornados when they touch down.

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