Tornadoes Hit North Texas; 6 dead, Dozens Injured

Posted at 11:03 AM, May 16, 2013

tornado west texas(CNN) — At first daylight in North Texas, rescue crews searched for seven people missing after a spate of overnight tornadoes that killed at least six.

Crews have walked through one subdivision in the city of Granbury “over and over and over again,” Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said Thursday morning.

All six victims were found in the same area, a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood called the Rancho Brazos subdivision, the sheriff said.

There were about 110 homes in the neighborhood, and most of them were destroyed.

Three people remained hospitalized at a local hospital, and 13 people were transported to hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

At least 10 tornadoes touched down in the area overnight, according to a National Weather Service preliminary count.

Seven were still missing, though the sheriff is hopeful that the death toll will not rise.

“The main concern is life safety and finding any victims that still need our help, making sure we tend to those victims,” Deeds said.

The darkness doesn’t help’

A tornado may have touched down several times in Hood, Tarrant, Dallas and Parker counties, said Matt Zavadsky, a spokesman for MedStar Mobile Healthcare.

“With these types of tornadoes, they touch down, they lift up, they touch down. They tend to hopscotch,” he 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.”

There were reports of homes in Granbury being flattened with people inside, Hood County Judge Darrell Cockerham said.

In nearby Ellis County, a suspected tornado knocked out power for many in the city of Ennis at about midnight, said Steve Howerton, city manager.

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

‘Traumatic injuries’

Donna Martin, a worker at a local veterans’ organization, said some suffered injuries.

“There are a lot of traumatic injuries,” she said. “My husband told me that a car was lifted in the air. It just came in and hit so fast.”

City officials were sending school buses to affected neighborhoods to help with evacuations.

The National Weather Service warned that a mile-wide tornado reported by spotters had shifted its track and was moving “right at the city of Cleburne,” a community of about 15,000 people in North Texas.

Officials had not confirmed whether a tornado touched down in Dallas but said the storm was capable of producing one.

Mobile tools to help you survive tornado season

CNN’s Dave Alsup, Chandler Friedman and Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.