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Bush Sheltered During Tornado Alert

President Bush and wife, Laura, listen to former President George H.W. Bush as he speaks during the christening ceremony of the George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) aircraft carrier in Newport News, Va., Saturday, Oct.. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
AP
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.

The storm passed while they waited in their vehicle and the Bushes didn't have to enter the shelter, reports CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller.

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.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com