6 dead, dozens injured in Texas tornado

GRANBURY, Texas - Officials say at least six people were killed when a spring tornado outbreak devastated parts of North Texas, destroying or damaging dozens of homes and injuring dozens of people.

The worst-hit city Wednesday was Granbury, where authorities say the fatalities occurred as the deadly tornado tore through two neighborhoods. Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds delivered the death toll at a midnight news conference and said dozens were injured.

Deeds said dozens of people were injured in Hood County. 

Kathy Jividen, a spokeswoman for the Hood County sheriff's office, said crews "are going house to house" looking for those trapped, injured or dead in the rubble of demolished homes in the DeCordova Ranch and Rancho Brazos Estates neighborhoods. Those areas are in the southern part of the town of about 8,000 residents near Lake Granbury.

Hood County Judge Darrell Cockerham said there were reports of homes being flattened with people inside.

Granbury Mayor Pro Tem Nin Hulett told WFAA-TV that the most intense damage was "pretty much isolated" to the Rancho Brazos subdivision just outside the city limits.

"It's a scene of complete devastation in this neighborhood near Granbury," said WFAA reporter Teresa Woodard. "Emergency personnel are going door-to-door trying to determine if anyone is trapped in damaged homes. Dozens of ambulances were staging nearby at a triage center to deal with as many as 100 injuries. Two fatalities have been confirmed."

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. Then they looked across the lake and saw several homeowners' boat docks "just get torn apart," he said.

"The boat docks just flew off, and they're actually gone," Martinez said, adding that the boards and other debris landed in some yards.

The restaurant didn't appear to sustain any damage, but cars in the parking lot had dents from the large hail, he said.

Donna Martin, the bartender at the VFW in Granbury, said she was watching the clouds circulate in the sky when the tornado sirens went off. She said softball-size hail also pounded the area.

Another tornado hit the small town of Millsap, about 40 miles west of Fort Worth. Parker County Judge Mark Kelley said roof damage was reported to several houses and a barn was destroyed, but no injuries were reported.

Hail as large as grapefruit also pelted the area around Mineral Wells on Wednesday evening. A police dispatcher reported only minor damage.


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