At Least 6 Dead After Tornadoes Rip Through North Texas

PHOTO: Officials said at least 6 people were killed Wednesday, May 15, 2013, when tornadoes ripped through North Texas.
Share
Copy

At least six people were killed and dozens more injured after tornadoes ripped through parts of North Texas destroying homes, officials said.

More than 100 homes suffered damage in the Rancho Brazos subdivision near Granbury, Texas, where the six people were killed, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said. The death toll could climb because parts of the subdivision are "heavily damaged" or "completely destroyed" after three tornadoes ripped through the area around 8 p.m. local time Wednesday, he said.

Deeds said officials were trying to account for 14 people, but it was not clear if they were missing or were away from the area when the storms swept through. Many of the homes in the subdivision were built by Habitat for Humanity, Deeds said.

Lake Granbury Medical Center received 48 patients, who were treated for lacerations, fractures and contusions, hospital spokeswoman Dixie Lee Hedgecock said. Some have already been treated and released while others were moved to hospitals in Fort Worth.

Granbury, a town of about 8,000 people, is 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

More than 100 residents have been bused to makeshift shelters at local churches where the Red Cross is providing supplies and resources.

Rescue crews in Granbury continued to dig through the rubble of destroyed homes and buildings searching for survivors.

"It's been a very busy night for all the folks out here in this community here right now, it's really devastating," Granbury Pro Tem Nin Hulett said on "Good Morning America."

"Our highest priority right now is to try to get the people out there in this community under a shelter somewhere and protect them and also to get accountability on some of the people that have not been accountable for," he added.

The region was hit hard by strong thunderstorms Wednesday that produced heavy rain and hail up to the size of a softball. Deeds said the storm intensified around 7:30 p.m. local time. Residents received a warning by phone about 10-15 minutes before the storm intensified.

Deeds said the situation may have been far worse if not for the emergency alert.

"We did use our Code Red Emergency Phone Notification System to alert the citizens of the county in the affected areas and in the areas," he said.

Hulett said he was on the golf course when the sirens sounded.

"I heard the sirens go off and headed to the clubhouse and before you could even get to the clubhouse we had pretty good size hail falling out of the sky and a lot of high winds," he said.

At Stumpy's Lakeside Grill in Lake Granbury, the storm took diners and workers by surprise. Some people rushed inside from the patio and ducked under tables as the wind gusts and hail started.

"The boat docks just flew off, and they're actually gone," Eric Martinez told The Associated Press.

In Johnson County, Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain warned residents to remain indoors.

"We've got power lines that have been down throughout that area. A lot of flooding, a lot of roof damage. I know there are a couple of confirmed reports of some families that are trapped inside their home," Cain told ABC News Radio.

Storm spotters told the National Weather Service that a twister in Cleburne was a mile wide, according to the AP. Cleburne, a city of about 30,000 people, is 25 miles southeast of Granbury.

In the town of Millsap, "large and damaging hail...baseball to softball-size hail," was reported according to Joel Kertok, spokesman for Parker County.

"Numerous reports of funnels and even some possible additional tornadoes touched down," Kertok told ABC News Radio.

ABC News' Rebecca Lee contributed to this report.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...