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At least 6 killed, up to 100 injured by Texas tornadoes

12:44 PM, May 16, 2013   |    comments
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Texas tornado/USA TODAY

by Gary Strauss and Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY

Several tornadoes ripped through an area of North Central Texas Wednesday night, leaving at least six people dead, scores injured and driving hundreds from homes flattened by the turbulent winds.

Hardest hit was the Rancho Brazos subdivision of 110 homes near Granbury, southwest of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said a twister suddenly dropped out of the a boiling thunderstorm and leveled a wide swath of mobile homes and single-family homes.

"Most of the neighborhood is heavily damaged to destroyed," he said. "Very little is untouched."

He said 28 people were treated at local hospital and 16 people, including two in critical condition, were transported to hospitals in Fort Worth. The injuries range from lost limbs to minor bumps and bruises, according to local officials.

Emergency teams rushed 18 bulldozers into the subdivision to clear the way for rescue teams and to look for people trapped in the debris.

Much of the construction in Ranco Brazos in the past five years was done by Habitant for Humanity, the Fort Worth Star-Telegramreported.

The sheriff said more than 250 people were evacuated, many by bus. Fourteen people remained unaccounted for, Deeds said.

"The house across from mine looked like it was destroyed," said Rancho Brazos resident Allacia Jenny, 22. "I saw power lines all over the place."

Officers "are going house to house" looking for residents trapped, injured or dead in the rubble of demolished homes near Lake Granbury, said Hood County Sheriff's Lt. Kathy Jiveden.

The tornado was among several spotted in Texas on Wednesday night and part of a broader storm system that dumped rain and hail up to the size of grapefruit on parts of the state. The National Weather Service to issue storm warnings for 32 counties in Texas and four others in Oklahoma. The tornado watch was in effect until 1 a.m. Thursday.

"This is serious," weather service meteorologists warned via social media. "Take shelter now!"

Granbury, a town of about 8,000 that's 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth, received only minor storm damage, Deeds said. City officials were sending first-responders to check neighborhoods and school buses to help evacuate the area.City officials were sending school buses to several neighborhoods to help with evacuations.The Red Cross set up shelters for tornado victims at two local churches.

A second tornado it the small town of Millsap west of Forth Worth. Parker County Judge Mark Kelley said roof damage was reported to several houses and a barn was destroyed, but no injuries were reported. Another tornado was spotted at about 8 p.m. near Decatur in Wise County. A fourth twister was spotted 10 miles west of Weatherford.

Contributing: Associated Press

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