© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tornadoes Sweep North Texas, Killing 3

WESTMINSTER, Texas (AP) -- Tornadoes swept through rural North Texas after dark, reducing houses to bare concrete slabs in a path of destruction that left three people dead and 10 injured, officials said Wednesday.

An elderly couple were found dead in a destroyed home in the tiny community of Westminster, about 45 miles northeast of Dallas, Collin County spokeswoman Leigh Hornsby said. A teenager died in neighboring Grayson County, where officials were going door-to-door Wednesday in a search for anyone trapped in the debris.

"It sounded like a regular thunderstorm, then it went crazy," said Cathy Dotson, who huddled on the floor with her grandchildren when the tornado hit Tuesday night. "I could actually feel my house move. I looked outside my window, and all I could see was gray."

About a quarter-mile down the street from Dotson's house, another couple left a sheet of paper held down by two rocks that read "Harry and Mary Donaho are fine" and gave their daughter's phone number.

At least six homes were destroyed in Westminster, a community of 420 people. Hornsby said a tornado also hit nearby in Anna, a town of 6,500 residents.

Jeri Tishmack, of nearby Van Alstyne, said she stayed on the phone with her parents throughout the storm as they crouched in the living room between a sofa and a small table.

"It sounded terrifying," Tishmack said. "All I heard was a really high-pitched sound."

Another tornado in the Texas Panhandle town of Childress knocked down a wall at the local high school, and broken power lines sparked treetop fires, officials said. Gas lines were broken and downed trees blocked roads, but there were no reports of injuries.

In southeast Oklahoma, three tornadoes touched down and the region was pelted with hail, but no severe damage or injuries were immediately reported, officials said. The National Weather Service received reports of a tornado near Olney in Coal County and two others near Stringtown.

Storms also raked Arkansas early Wednesday, toppling trees, damaging roofs and downing power lines. A FedEx truck was blown into the median of Interstate 530 near Redfield, Ark., and at Bentonville, the wind speed hit 62 mph.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.