UPDATE

Tornado injures 1, destroys property


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_JDU4804By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
A tornado tore through southeastern Wise County Thursday evening destroying two trailer homes and damaging up to a dozen near Farm Road 2264.
A 14-year-old girl was injured by debris after the twister hit the trailer she was in on Coyote Trail. Medics transported her to Wise Regional Health System with a cut on her head, according to her aunt Kelley Bellah.
“She’s shook up,” Bellah said. “She doesn’t like storms anyway.”
Bellah‘s home and another on County Road 4421 were destroyed, according to Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard.
“There’s 10 to 12 homes with moderate to heavy damage and two destroyed,” Beard said.
“The East Wise Fire Station has been opened up for those affected to take shelter from the storm that is coming through. A lot of people had places to go.”
Beard said the Red Cross would be out to help residents after the storms left the area.
The National Weather Service is expected to survey the damage early Friday. Beard said he had been on the phone with their office Fort Worth throughout Thursday’s storm.
“What it looked like was EF1 to EF2 tornado,” Beard said. “Spotters saw it touch down, then it picked up and got rain-wrapped.”
The tornado off FM 2264 was reported by spotters around 6:45 p.m.
Airyn Sanderson said she saw the storm touch down behind her home and destroy her barn.
“It scared the tar out of me,” Sanderson said. “I took everything out of my daughter’s closet and we hid in there.”
Ricky Bowling watched the twister land behind his home on FM 2264.
“It came across from the pasture from the neighbor’s in back,” Bowling said. “It looked like a big cloud on the ground. When it got on the ground, it started spinning. I watched it until it got almost to the house.”
The tornado knocked down trees and power lines along FM 2264. Power was knocked out in the area to 69 customers. Crews from Wise County Electric Coop were out repairing lines late Thursday.
Elsewhere in the county, Beard said two confirmed touchdowns were reported in the western part near Runaway Bay.
“There was one on 380,” Beard said.
No damage from the other funnels has been reported according to Beard and Sheriff David Walker.
Sabrina Easley with Oncor reported 70 power outages countywide around 9 p.m,, including 30 near Greenwood and 25 in Runaway Bay. Wise County Electric Coop were reporting 151 outages in the county around 10:50 p.m.
Hail was widely reported throughout the county up to baseball size in the Boyd area.
Lightning sparked a gas well fire near Ramhorn Hill on U.S. 287.
Along with the tornadoes, hail, high winds and lightning, the storms brought torrential rains that fell over the county for several hours, causing widespread flooding. More than two inches had fallen in the northern portion of the county, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Flash Flood Warning.
Chico firefighters and medics had to make a high-water rescue on Farm Road 1810 east of Chico shortly before midnight.

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