Churchill Tornado Repairs Moving Along
by Ron Mitchell
Date Posted: 7/15/2011 11:15:31 AM
Last Updated: 7/16/2011 9:38:43 AM

Tornado damage at Churchill Downs
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Efforts to repair nine barns and the chapel at Churchill Downs heavily damaged by a June 22 tornado are progressing at a rapid pace, with a projected completion date of late August.

“We are probably about 60% of the way through the repairs to the backside,” Churchill vice president E. Lysonge said during the July 14 Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meeting. “We are working at it as expeditiously as we can and plan to be finished with that by late August.”

Immediately following the F1 tornado, which packed winds of up to 105 miles per hour, Churchill officials said they were confident the repairs would be completed in time to house horses for the Nov. 4-5 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

There were no injuries or deaths to people or horses during the tornado, which hit in early evening. Some horses were relocated following the storm as 6 1/2 barns were declared uninhabitable by fire officials.

Racing was canceled for one day and there was no damage to the clubhouse, grandstand, Twin Spires, or racing surfaces as a result of the tornado.

Churchill does not provide damage estimates for damage to properties from events such as the tornado, but said the damage was covered by its insurance policy. Lysonge said there were some initial issues that Churchill had to work out with its insurer before the repair work could begin.



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