The seven Granbury tornadoes missing persons have all been found and accounted for as of Friday morning, a bit of good news for survivors of the 16 deadly north Texas tornadoes that struck the area on Wednesday. According to one media tweet, a meteorologist even helped to recover a lost cat.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reached a preliminary conclusion Thursday night that the most powerful tornado was a “devastating” F4 with winds up to 200 miles per hour.
The only stronger category of tornado is an F5, which is both powerful and rare — so much so that the NWS describes them as “incredible.”
The devastation from the Wednesday strike centered on Granbury. The death toll stands at six, including at least four seniors over 60. Roughly 100 people were injured. The two hardest hit neighborhoods were Rancho Brazos Estates and DeCordova Ranch at the southern end of the town of around 8,000.
The Rancho Brazos neighborhood included 61 Habitat for Humanity homes that help people find affordable housing. Some residents either lost everything or don’t know yet if their homes can be salvaged.
Some tornado survivors are slowly starting to speak out and share their story. Tina and Billy Clark saw the funnel cloud and hid in a closet in their Rancho Brazos home. Their house survived but they were shocked at what they found when they emerged.
Telling their story to CNN, they explained how they took their truck out to help neighbors, including two young girls.
“They couldn’t even walk, they were just covered in blood,” Tina Clark said.
Another woman had been pulled out of her house and blown against a tree. When her son went out to try to help, he too got cut up from the Granbury tornadoes.
Ultimately, they filled up the truck, drove as far as they could, and then had to finish the trek to the hospital on foot.
Katrina King, another resident of Rancho Brazos, described her ordeal to the Dallas News. While she covered her children in a bathroom closet, part of her house was torn off.
When they emerged, they could smell gasoline. “That’s all we could smell. Everywhere there was twisted metal, people around us were screaming, injured. Disaster,” she said.
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is expected to visit the devastated area this afternoon around 3 P.M. The recovery and rebuilding will be an ongoing process, but at least everyone is now accounted for in the aftermath of the Granbury tornadoes.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) May 17, 2013
[Granbury photo black/white image of area minutes before the tornadoes struck courtesy NOAA]
[tornado photo by Daniel Loretto via Shutterstock]