A rash of tornadoes slammed into several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens more injured and hundreds homeless. The violent spring storm flattened homes and threw trailers onto cars.
Here is coverage from the AP:
In Granbury, the worst-hit city, a tornado tore through two neighborhoods a little after 8 p.m. CDT Wednesday. Resident Elizabeth Tovar described the fist-sized hail that heralded the tornado’s arrival, prompting her and her family to hide in their bathroom. ”We were all, like, hugging in the bathtub and that’s when it started happening. I heard glass shattering and I knew my house was going,” Tovar said, shaking her head. “We looked up and … the whole ceiling was gone.”
The powerful storm crushed buildings as it tore through the area, leaving some as just piles of planks and rubble. Trees and debris were scattered across yards, fences flattened. Behind one house, a detached garage was stripped of most of its aluminum siding, the door caved in and the roof torn off. A tree behind the house was stripped of its branches and a vacant doublewide mobile home on an adjoining lot was torn apart.
Around midnight, 14 people were still missing but Mayor Pro Tem Nin Hulett told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday morning that he believed most residents had been accounted for. ”Our highest priority right now is to try to get the people that are out there in those communities under a shelter somewhere,” Hulett said.
About 50 people were taken to a hospital in Granbury. Yet more gathered at a local elementary school where paramedics provided on-site treatment. Matt Zavadsky, a spokesman for MedStar Mobile Healthcare, estimated that as many as 100 people were injured. Utilities said about 20,000 homes and businesses were without power early Thursday.
Another tornado that storm spotters told the National Weather Service was a mile wide and tore through Cleburne, a courthouse city of about 30,000 about 25 miles southeast of Granbury. Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said early Thursday that no one was killed or seriously hurt, although seven people suffered minor injuries. He estimated that dozens of homes were damaged and declared a local disaster.
Another tornado hit the small town of Millsap, about 40 miles west of Fort Worth. Parker County Judge Mark Kelley said roof damage was reported to several houses and a barn was destroyed, but no injuries were reported. Hail as large as grapefruit also pelted the area around Mineral Wells on Wednesday evening.
After a night of devastating tornadoes in North Texas, the same storm system is bringing the threat for large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes to the Arklatex region today (region where Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma intersect).
An upper-level area of low pressure across the southern Plains has been the kicker for powerful storms as it runs into warm air in place across the Lower Mississippi Valley. Coupled with wind shear, some storms capable of becoming severe. The biggest threats from storms today will be damaging wind gusts as high as 70 mph, baseball-size hail, and a few tornadoes in locations like Shreveport, La., and Texarkana and El Dorado, Ark.
WeatherBug is shocked at the loss of life and property these tornados have inflicted. Our condolences to all the victims and their families, our thoughts & prayers are with you.
For continual coverage, be sure to check WeatherBug.com frequently.
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