CANTON, Texas (AP) — Nearly 50 people were taken to hospitals after a tornado hit a small city in East Texas on Saturday, including one with critical injuries.
Powerful storms swept through Canton and nearby areas about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Dallas, leaving behind a trail of overturned vehicles, mangled trees and damaged homes.
ETMC Regional Heathcare Systems hospitals in the area received at least 47 patients following the storm, including one person in critical condition, spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley said. She said a handful of other patients were en route Saturday night, though none with life-threatening injuries.
Several tornadoes were reported in the area, but only one tornado has been confirmed so far as having touched down in Canton, National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Fox said.
The extent of the damage in the area wasn't immediately clear. But video from local television stations showed uprooted trees and overturned cars along rural, wet roadways, along with at least two flattened homes. The tornado flipped pickup trucks at a Dodge dealership in Canton and tore through the business.
A dispatcher at the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office said officers were chasing numerous injury reports and declined further comment.
Local resident Ernestine Cook told WFAA-TV that she rushed to a storm center just in time.
"It hit so hard, so fast. It just kept moving," she said. "I've never seen anything like it after 22 years of living here."