Bush sheltered during tornado alert | VailDaily.com

Bush sheltered during tornado alert

Evan Vucci/AP PhotoPresident Bush walks towards waiting reporters with members of his national security team, from left, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace Thursday, in Crawford, Texas.

RAWFORD, Texas – President Bush and first lady Laura Bush were moved to an armored vehicle on their ranch Friday when a tornado warning was issued in central Texas, the White House said.

The vehicle was driven to a tornado shelter on the ranch, and the president, Mrs. Bush and their two Scottish terriers sat inside until the weather cleared, deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel said. They were never moved into the shelter, he said.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning at 2:34 p.m. CST after a severe thunderstorm with a history of producing tornadoes was reported 13 miles south of Clifton, Texas, and moving northeast. Clifton is 20 miles northwest of Crawford.

Stanzel said he did not know how long the Bushes and their dogs, Miss Beazley and Barney, had to stay in the vehicle, but that it was not “terribly long.”

The rush to the tornado shelter interrupted Bush’s day at the ranch where he cleared some cedar and was kept abreast of plans to execute Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

He received calls to wish him a happy new year from outgoing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is visiting Miami, also called Bush to talk about Iraq.

Stanzel said Bush spent time on the rainy, windy day contemplating the new plan for U.S. policy in Iraq that he plans to announce in the new year. Bush hosted a National Security Council meeting at his ranch on Thursday.

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