Sutton business owners still recovering from weekend tornado

Aug. 1, 2023, 3:03 p.m. ·

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A large steel roof was ripped from a building and carried one block south by Saturday morning’s EF-1 tornado in Sutton. (Photo courtesy of Clay County News)

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An EF-1 tornado ripped through the town of Sutton Saturday morning. The storm didn’t lead to any injuries, but there was extensive damage to the town 70 miles southwest of Lincoln.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado hit Sutton at 6:53 a.m., carving a path more than two football fields wide through the center of town.

Cory Ebert owns a chiropractic clinic in Sutton and he was at his office working with patients when the tornado hit.

“You could hear it,” he said. “Main Street kind of acted like a funnel. Everything was blowing down Main Street and it sucked my door open and blew a bunch of stuff in.”

Ebert’s office was mostly spared, but the other side of the street was not so lucky.

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Businesses on the west side of Saunders Street in Sutton remain closed to the public after damage from a tornado Saturday. (Photo by Brian Beach/Nebraska Public Media News)

A large, steel roof was ripped off a building and carried a block south, tumbling along the rooftops of other downtown businesses, sending bricks plummeting onto the street below.

The Clay County News office sustained some of the most severe damage.

When managing editor Tory Duncan arrived, he saw water pouring out of the front door and a large hole in his roof.

“The initial shock kind of hit hard the first 30 minutes I was in our building,” Duncan said.

The damage forced the Clay County News to move operations to the Sutton Community Senior Center, three blocks south.

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Bricks from the Clay County News office spilled out onto Sutton’s main street Saturday morning after an EF-1 tornado rolled through town. (Photo courtesy of Clay County News)

Duncan expects it will be at least several months before the newspaper returns to its original office.

“There's still a long road to go, but I know everybody will get there,” Duncan said. “Sutton may look a little different downtown in the future.”