Tornadoes kill at least 10 in Texas town

first_img“It was a whole family, and they were all together, probably like they were huddling,” said police Officer Ezekiel Navjas, who arrived Tuesday night just as crews were pulling from the wreckage the body of the girl, believed to be about 5 years old. “I’ve never seen nothing like this,” he said, shaking his head as he walked down a dirt road lined with homes cut in half like doll houses and mesquite treetops torn from their trunks. One of the dead was found in a house, and the other died after being taken to a San Antonio hospital, authorities said. More than 80 others were injured, and at least four remained in critical condition Wednesday. Across the Rio Grande in Piedras Negras, three people were killed and 300 homes were damaged. About 1,000 people sought refuge in shelters in Piedras Negras, where 37 people were killed in flash flooding three years ago. Neither Eagle Pass nor Piedras Negras had a siren warning system like those used to help people evacuate ahead of the same storm when it flooded streets and peeled roofs off homes in North Texas. No injuries were reported there. EAGLE PASS, Texas – All residents were accounted for Wednesday after crews scoured the mangled remains of houses and trailer homes in the wake of tornadoes that killed at least 10 people in this border community and its Mexican neighbor. The storm killed two other people in Louisiana and Arkansas. Twisters cut across a nearly 4-square-mile area in a rural community southeast of Eagle Pass on Tuesday night, destroying two empty elementary schools, a church, business and homes. Several mobile homes were still missing as searchers with dogs went lot to lot. Maverick County Judge Jose Aranda said all residents on the Texas side were accounted for, but that 50 to 200 families were left homeless. A family of five – a girl, her parents and two other relatives – were killed when the winds blew their mobile home across the street and slammed it into Rosita Valley Elementary School. Lightning was blamed for a death Wednesday as the huge weather system plowed through the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. The bolt started a fire near Shreveport, La., that killed a 101-year-old man, authorities and the man’s family said. A 12th person died in Arkansas when high winds swamped a boat on a lake, officials said. The sprawling front also spun off tornadoes Tuesday in Oklahoma and Colorado, caused flooding in Iowa and Nebraska, and piled snow more than a foot deep in the Rockies. About 350 residents from Eagle Pass were in shelters and were kept from their homes until rescuers completed their search of the area. Search teams made up of police, firefighters, Border Patrol agents and National Guard soldiers picked their way through homes, knocking on doors, calling out to residents and marking searched buildings with spray paint. Gov. Rick Perry arrived for a tour in the late afternoon, saying he was pleased with officials’ response. The state has asked the federal government for quick assistance and a disaster declaration, which would entitle it to federal aid. “It is stunning, the devastation,” he said. Eagle Pass resident Ricardo Tijerina, who rode out the twisters with his six children in a house near the school, said he saw the weather roll in and expected a typical spring storm. “I saw some clouds, but I never imagined it was going to be that bad,” said Tijerina. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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