Tornadoes rip through Texas, killing six

2013-05-16 09:09

Dallas – At least six people were killed and many injured as three tornadoes ripped through a stretch of Texas near the Dallas-Fort Worth area after dark, destroying homes and uprooting trees, authorities said.

The death toll could rise as search and rescue teams combed through the devastation, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds told a news conference yesterday. Bodies had been found in and around houses, he said.

Matt Zavadsky, a spokesman for MedStar Mobile Healthcare, an agency that provides ambulance service to the region, said about 100 people were injured in a twister that struck an area around Granbury, a town about 56km southwest of Fort Worth.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Kathy Jividen told Reuters most of the damage was in two housing subdivisions at the edge of the town. “We’re going house to house right now,” she said.

There was no immediate estimate for the extent of property damage, but Jividen said a number of homes were destroyed and trees downed.

The Granbury-area tornado was one of at least three confirmed twisters that struck in north-central Texas, according to Matt Bishop, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

In Granbury, Pastor Dean Porter of Lake Granbury Christian Temple told a Dallas/Fort Worth ABC affiliate that looking out the front porch of his church at the parking lot he began to see “what looked to be a circular formation” and he ran back inside.

“Apparently what had happened from that point was that the tornado had formed over us, touched down on the opposite end of our property where there was a horse stable and some other buildings that were demolished. Just past that point there was a gas plant, I think there was a pipeline that had broke,” Porter told the affiliate, WFAA.

“This particular night is not like anything that I’ve ever seen,” Porter told the station.

Nearby Parker County, bordering Hood County, experienced property damage but no injuries, according to Parker County Judge Mark Riley.

The US tornado season typically starts in the Gulf Coast states in the late winter, and then moves north with the warming weather, peaking around May and trailing off by July.

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