6 dead, at least 14 missing as tornadoes rip through Texas

The death toll could grow, with 14 people remaining unaccounted for, Deeds told a news conference in the early morning hours of Thursday. About 100 people were reported injured and as many as 250 were homeless after the swarm of twisters that ripped up trees and knocked down homes.

Granbury, a town of 8,000 about 65 miles southwest of Dallas, was thought to be among the worst-hit areas. Images of the town revealed leveled homes, badly damaged cars, uprooted trees and downed power lines.

“It’s rough, very rough. Everything’s demolished,” said another resident told KXAS as she hurried away from the neighborhood with her arms around a child. “It was like hell.”

The six people who were confirmed dead were in the Rancho Brazos neighborhood on the outskirts of Granbury, Deeds said. He added that the homes there were mostly built within the past five years by Habitat for Humanity.

“I had three different storms that came through but this is the worst one,” Deeds said.

The tornadoes swept through the towns of Granbury and nearby Cleburne, causing “heavy damage,” Deeds said. The search for other people who might have gotten caught up in the storm continued with day break.

“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,” Deeds said.

The tornadoes seemed to have caused less damage in Cleburne, Mayor Scott Cain told KXAS. The town did “have the potential for some injuries,” Cain said.

The National Weather Service reported three tornadoes across Montague and Hood counties. Storm surveys to determine the extent of the damage were planned for Hood, Johnson, Montague, and Parker counties on Thursday, the weather service’s Dallas-Fort Worth office announced.

Nearly forty patients were taken to Lake Granbury Medical Center and 18 discharged, with the majority of injuries including cuts, broken bones, and some head injuries. A total of eight patients were admitted to the emergency room at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. Two of the patients were in critical condition as of 4 a.m. local time.

Relocation centers have been set up Granbury Methodist and First Christian churches in Hood County.

The tornado outbreak was by far the year’s deadliest, the weather service said. Prior to Wednesday night, there had been three fatal tornadoes this year, killing one person each in Georgia, Mississippi and eastern Texas.

Anita Foster of the American Red Cross, which opened two shelters in Granbury, told KXAS that 42 people had spent the night in the shelters. She added that only a quarter of people who are left homeless in such disasters typically seek shelter with the Red Cross, indicating that more may have been affected.

“We’re going to have a lot of people who are going to need some help,” she said, adding, “It was a really frightening evening. It was a devastating event for our community.”

About 60 departures have been canceled and 70 flights diverted from Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport on Thursday morning, spokesman David Magana told the Associated Press.





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