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Old 16-05-13, 21:46   #1
 
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Important VIDEOs-Texas Hit by by TEN Tornadoes-Winds 200 mph; 6 dead

Texas Hit by by TEN Tornadoes-Winds 200 mph; 6 dead, Many Injured & Homes Destroyed

By Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, May 16





Johnny Ortiz, left, and James South, right, carry Miguel Morales, center, who was injured in a tornado, to an ambulance in Granbury, Texas, on Wednesday May 15, 2013.
(AP Photo/Mike Fuentes)



A trucking company trailer landed on a car parked in front of a home in Cleburne, Texas.
(Photo: Tom Fox, AP)



GRANBURY, Texas — Ten tornadoes touched down in several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens injured and hundreds homeless. Emergency responders were still searching for missing people Thursday afternoon.

The National Weather Service gave a preliminary estimate of Wednesday night’s violent system, saying a tornado in Granbury had wind speeds between 166 mph and 200 mph. Other tornadoes damaged nearby Cleburne and Millsap.

Granbury, about 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth, bore the brunt of the damage, as the exceptionally powerful tornado tore through two neighborhoods around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Resident Elizabeth Tovar said fist-sized hail heralded the tornado’s arrival and prompted 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 weather service’s preliminary storm estimate was an EF-4, based on the Fujita tornado damage scale. An EF-5 is the most severe.
Those who saw the destruction in the city’s Rancho Brazos subdivision, which has a significant number of Habitat for Humanity homes, described it as unrecognizable.

Hood County Commissioner Steve Berry said Thursday he couldn’t tell one street from another — some homes were ripped from foundations, others reduced to rubble. Half of one home was torn away while the other half was still standing, glasses and vases intact on shelves. Trees and debris were scattered across yards, and fences were flattened.

Ruby Derrick, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, said the organization has built nearly 70 homes in Hood County, with the majority of those in Rancho Brazos.

Authorities said about 110 homes were either destroyed or damaged in the subdivision; about 40 of the damaged homes were built by Habitat. They said other areas in the county had not yet been assessed.

Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds described the overnight hunt for bodies in Granbury.
“Some were found in houses. Some were found around houses,” Deeds said. “There was a report that two of these people that they found were not even near their homes. So we’re going to have to search the area out there.”

Seven people remain unaccounted and authorities hope they are with family or friends, Deeds said at a Thursday morning news conference. Emergency responders were working to identify the six adult bodies that had been found, he said.
He said 37 injured people were treated at hospitals.

Harold Brooks, a meteorologist at the weather service’s severe storm lab in Norman, Okla., said May 15 is the latest into the month that the U.S. has had to wait for its first significant tornadoes of the year.
Brooks said he would expect 2013 to be one of the least lethal tornado years since the agency started keeping records in 1954.

Utilities said about 20,000 homes and businesses in the region were without power early Thursday.

Another tornado cut a mile-wide path through Cleburne on Wednesday, storm spotters told the National Weather Service. The weather service said Wednesday that it was estimated as an EF-3, which has winds between 136 mph and 165 mph.
Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said Thursday morning that no one was killed or seriously hurt in the courthouse city of about 30,000 that’s some 25 miles southeast of Granbury. Nine people suffered minor injuries, and upward of 150 homes were damaged and another 50 were destroyed.
He described the storm as “bizarre” because severe winds kept shifting in different directions.
Cleburne resident Derrek Grisham was going through his mother’s damaged home Thursday, salvaging items before the home is likely torn down.
Grisham, 26, said after the storm passed through, he ran to his mother’s nearby home to check on her and his 10-year-old son, who was staying with her.
“I had to kick in the front door to get them out,” he said, explaining the two had taken shelter in a bathtub.

The roof of the home was torn away and he said her belongings were a jumbled mass, but that Catholic crucifixes stayed in place on the living room wall.

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.
___
Stengle reported from Cleburne and Granbury, Texas. Associated Press writers Diana Heidgerd and Terry Wallace in Dallas; AP videographer John Mone in Granbury, Texas; and freelance photographer Mike Fuentes contributed to this report.


MORE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Quote:
GRANBURY, Texas — Officials awaited daybreak to fully assess the scope of the destruction left in the wake of a deadly tornado in Granbury. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said he hoped the death toll from the tornado would hold at six, with about 50 people injured and 250 people left homeless.
The twister was part of a swarm of tornadoes unleashed on North Texas, devastating two neighborhoods in southern Granbury and a neighborhood in nearby Cleburne.
"I've been assured by my deputies on the scene that they're pretty confident with the six that they found, but there was a report that two of these people that they found were not even near their homes. So we're going to have to search the area out there," he said.
About 50 people were taken to a Granbury hospital, where 14 were admitted for treatment of injuries and two were transferred to a hospital in Fort Worth, about 35 miles to the northeast, Deeds said.
About 50 people gathered in the Oak Wood Elementary School after nightfall Wednesday to have their injured children examined by paramedics. Five were taken away by ambulance.
As many as 100 people were injured, said Matt Zavadsky, spokesman for MedStar Mobile Healthcare. His company sent three ambulances and a medical bus from its Fort Worth base to Granbury.
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 for other reasons.
Hardest hit were two neighborhoods, Rancho Brazos Estates and DeCordova Ranch, in the southern end of the town of about 8,000 residents about 65 miles southwest of Dallas.
Behind one house in the storm's path sits a detached garage stripped of much of its aluminum siding have with its garage door stove in and its roof torn off. Siding was scattered up to 50 yards away, and bits of fiberglass insulation draped on a fence. A tree behind the house was stripped of most of its branches, and a vacant doublewide mobile home on an adjoining lot was torn apart.
Deeds spoke of a county road operations supervisor who lives in the affected area.
"I've been told his home is destroyed but he was OK, so he was ready to go to work to help his neighbors. But he can't find his truck. The winds were strong enough out there that he still doesn't know where his truck is," Deeds said.
Ambulances from as far away as Fort Worth were being called to Granbury, said Tye Bell, Richland Hills police spokesman who was heading to Granbury on Wednesday night.
The same storm spawned another tornado that storm spotters told the National Weather Service was a mile wide. That twister tore through the southwestern quadrant of Cleburne, a courthouse city of about 30,000 about 25 miles southeast of Granbury.
There were no reports of deaths in that storm, Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain said, "but we do have the potential for some injuries." He had no estimates.
Cain had no estimate on the number of homes damaged, but he said he expected the number to soar into the dozens based on his inspection of damage ranging from roof damage to total destruction.
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. A police dispatcher reported only minor damage.







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Old 16-05-13, 22:36   #2
 
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Default Re: VIDEOs-Texas Hit by by TEN Tornadoes-Winds 200 mph; 6 dead

The USA in the past 12 months has seen the fewest number of tornadoes since at least 1954, and tornado deaths have dropped dramatically since 2011.



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