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[VIDEO] At least 6 killed by Texas twisters, 14 missing

May 16, 2013 at 6:52 AM   |   Comments

GRANBURY, Texas, May 16 (UPI) -- Officials said 14 people were missing Thursday and the death toll could increase from six after a blitz of at least 10 tornadoes ripped through North Texas.

Hood County officials confirmed six people died in the tornado, 16 others were said to be critically injured and multiple homes were damaged. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds told the KDFW-TV in Dallas that there were 14 people unaccounted for, suggesting the death toll could go higher.

Deeds said the deaths occurred when a twister struck a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood in Granbury, Texas, destroying most of the 120 homes in the area, CNN reported.

About 100 people were injured when tornadoes hit the area, said Matt Zavadsky, a spokesman for MedStar Mobile Healthcare. He said the tornadoes may have touched down several times throughout Hood, Tarrant, Dallas and Parker counties.

The Dallas Morning News said power was out for much of the area. Rescue workers said the extent of the damage may not be known until the sun comes up, CNN reported.

"With these types of tornadoes, they touch down; they lift up; they touch down. They tend to hopscotch," Zavadsky said. "The darkness doesn't help but the crews on scene are doing a really good job to try and reach out to the folks who might be trapped or unable to get to a shelter or the triage area."

KDFW-TV said authorities estimated at least 10 tornadoes developed in a line of severe storms.

One mile-wide twister, with winds about 80 mph, hit 2 miles south of Cleburne in Johnson County and multiple injuries were reported.

The Red Cross said initial indications were Hood County was the hardest-hit, followed by Johnson, Parker, Wise and Montague.

Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain told WFAA-TV, Dallas, downed power lines posed a danger to people trying to get out of their homes.

Granbury Mayor Pro Tem Nin Hulett told WFAA-TV, "We've got a lot of injuries out there right now" and confirmed more than 50 homes were damaged or destroyed, with the worst of it in the Rancho Brazos subdivision just outside the city limits.

Lake Granbury Christian Temple Pastor Dean Porter said the storm struck while he was conducting a Bible study in the fellowship hall.

"It began to suck up debris and I ran inside and got our people and children into a safer location," he said. "Apparently what happened was, the tornado formed over us and touched down on the other end of our property."

"There are a lot of traumatic injuries," Donna Martin, a worker at a veteran's organization in Hood County said.

"My husband told me that a car was lifted in the air. It just came in and hit so fast."

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 but nobody was injured, said Eric Martinez, a cook at the restaurant. He said he saw boat docks "just get torn apart" by high winds.

In Ellis County, a possible tornado knocked out power for much of Ennis, said City Manager Steve Howerton.

"Several buildings in the downtown historic district have been seriously damaged," he said.

Topics: Donna Martin
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