North Texas residents set to take in the devastation caused by a series of tornadoes that killed six in what Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds described as a “nightmare” scenario.
The disaster destroyed homes and ripped off trees in Granbury, near Dallas Fort-Worth yesterday evening. Bodies of six people were found in the area of Rancho Brazos, an territory that embraces about 110 homes on the fringe of the town. Police said a “very big percentage” of the homes had been destroyed.
Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds told reporters that the death toll could rise as rescue workers is combing through houses, covered by darkness that kept the full extent of the devastation hidden.
“At this point… I’ve got 14 people that are unaccounted for,” he told reporters. “I had three different storms that came through but this is the worst one.”
The series of 10 tornadoes hit the region, with some residents reporting hailstones as large as grapefruits denting cars in the area, writes The Independent.
An ambulance service spokesman told the media that dozens of people were injured in the Granbury twister, although there was no immediate estimate for the extend of property damage.
In Granbury,pastor Dean Porter of Lake Granbury Christian Temple told a local news agency that he saw “what looked like a circular formation” when looking out from his front porch, before heading back inside.
“Apparently what had happened from that point was that the tornado had formed over us, touched down on the opposite end of our property where there was a horse stable and some other buildings that were demolished. Just past that point there was a gas plant, I think there was a pipeline that had broke,” he said.
“This particular night is not like anything that I’ve ever seen,” the pastor added.
According to officials, properties were also damaged in nearby Parker County, but luckily no one was injured.
People in the epicenter of the disaster had the national 13 minutes warning before the tornadoes ripped, according to the National Weather Service.
“The warning came well before the tornadoes,” Fox said. Residents of Montague County were alerted about 15 to 30 minutes before the storm struck, and in Hood County a warning was issued 25 minutes before the tornado touched down, claims NBC News.
More severe storms is predicted to come to Texas, parts of Arkansas and northern Louisiana later on Thursday, says Corey Mead, forecaster at NWS Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. But the possible tornadoes would appear in northeast Texas, not in the area hit on Wednesday night.
Until Wednesday, the tornado season had been unusually mild so far in 2013 after two years of intense activity, writes Reuters.
The tornado season in the United States typically begins in the Gulf Coast states in the late winter, and then moves north with the warming weather, peaking around May and trailing off by July.