Texas Tornadoes Update: 6 People Killed, Homes Toppled Down
By Athena Yenko | May 17, 2013 10:37 AM EST
Tornadoes that struck a neighborhood in Texas left not just physical wreckage but scar the hearts of people as tornadoes destroy homes constructed through the volunteer initiative Habitat for Humanity.
Tornadoes killed six people, hurt approximately dozens and shattered 100 homes as it hit Granbury Texas, The Wall Street Journal reports. The tornadoes struck Wednesday evening and emergency volunteers search for survivors Thursday morning. Granbury has approximately 8000 residents and is located 40 miles southwest of Forth Worth.
Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said that there are still 7 people missing and rescuers are not leaving any stones unturned as they search the damaged Rancho Brazos.
Mark Wiley, an emergency-response meteorologist working with the National Weather Service said that the tornadoes wreck more than 60 houses built by the group Habitat for Humanity.
Neighbors were particularly emotional about Habitat for Humanity house number 66 that was about to be awarded to a single mother with five children. The awarding was supposedly happening this coming Saturday but the new four-bedroom, two-bathroom home was blown away by the tornadoes.
Alan Sloan, a volunteer who helped builds the home has almost no words for how he felt. He said "It's devastating".
Jessica Ozuna, a 36 year old hairdresser, shares her experience as tornadoes beat her home while she and her daughter were inside. She said that minutes before dinnertime, hail the size of a baseball starts falling on their roof and outside the house. Few moments after, there were already enormous cone-shaped figure just within few distances from their house.
Ms. Ozuna gathered her daughter under a mattress along the hallway as she prayed for the tornado not to haul the roof off the house. She was afraid that if this happens, then all of them will be sucked away by the tornado.
Ms. Ozuna recalls her experience saying that "It was terrifying. It was like having jet engines in your house."
When the tornado passed, MS. Ozuna went out of the house and saw that a piece of wood had her roof sliced open. She was happy to see her three dogs and cat survived the tornado even when they were left outside the house.
Ms. Ozuna's daughter thought of what happened as a miracle. "That's when you know you're blessed "she said.
Mark Wiley, an emergency-response meteorologist working with the National Weather Service said that a total of three tornadoes whirled Granbury that night. These tornadoes were just initial manifestation of a larger storm happening in other parts of North texas, including the Dallas-Forth Worth metropolitan area.
All in all, there were about ten tornadoes that struck the whole North Texas Area. According to Mr. Wiley, the largest tornado that hit Granbury was a Category 4. This means that the tornado has estimated winds of 160 to 175 miles per hour. "The estimated 10 tornadoes in North Texas was a big number for a small area" he said.
Mr. Wiley has yet to get the number of people who suffer injuries but have seen lots of people enduring broken bones and some had even lost limbs.
What were left of most of the Habitat Homes were chunks of concrete and their floors.
As a silver lining, there were white fences who endured the tornadoes and wildflowers remained swaying all throughout the fields.
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