All missing residents accounted for after Texas tornadoes

Reuters News
Posted: May 15, 2013 11:22 PM
All missing residents accounted for after Texas tornadoes

By Jana J. Pruet

GRANBURY, Texas (Reuters) - All seven of the people listed as missing following a monster tornado on Wednesday have now been accounted for in Granbury, Texas, leaving the death toll at six, authorities said on Friday.

Workers were clearing debris to allow residents of the most damaged areas to return to the area to see the destruction, and volunteers have arrived in droves to help with the massive cleanup effort, said Lonny Haschel, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"Crews are trying to shore things up to make sure it's safe for people to return," Haschel said. "There is still debris everywhere, and some still falling off the houses, so we want to make sure it is safe."

The search for survivors is complete and everyone is accounted for, Haschel said. Fifty people were taken to area hospitals for injuries and another 90 were treated for minor injuries at the scene, he said.

The tornado, which brought winds of up to 200 miles per hour, was rated an EF4 by the National Weather Service (NWS), the second-most powerful level for such a storm.

The storm blew homes from their foundations, tossed cars through the air and uprooted trees as it raged through at least four North Texas counties. The worst hit area included dozens of Habitat for Humanity homes, which are built by volunteers for poor families.

The NWS said there were reports of 10 tornadoes touching down in the area.

Granbury, a town of 8,000 people about 35 miles southwest of Dallas-Fort Worth, took the hardest hit.

(Additional reporting by Marice Richter.; Writing by Corrie MacLaggan; Editing by Greg McCune and Sofina Mirza-Reid)