Officials say the tornadoes were unexpected. While they did expect serious storms, weather forecasters said it was "too cool" for tornadic activity. Not so, as it turned out:
A massive emergency response is under way in the Granbury area, where at least six people were killed and dozens injured by up to three tornadoes as a relentless storm system raked across North Texas on Wednesday evening.
At an overnight press conference, Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds did not have details on the six who died. He did say that two of them were not near homes.
Deeds said the death toll could rise as 14 people remain unaccounted for and nearby rural areas just outside the Rancho Brazos subdivision had not been searched thoroughly as crews did what they could in the dark.
In the hardest hit subdivision this morning, police and sheriff's deputies have blocked off the neighborhood where several homes were damaged or destroyed. Debris littered the roads approaching the subdivision, and volunteers with the Red Cross were out in force, seeking to help those in need find shelter and other provisions.
At an emergency shelter set up by the American Red Cross at First Christian Church, about 20 people woke up in beds that were not their own. Volunteer Jeff Watson said the extent of the damage to the families' homes was still unclear, but after breakfast, volunteers will conduct interviews to determine what other services the relief organization should be offering in the coming hours and days.
The sheriff added that many residents quickly left the area after the storm to stay with friends or relatives, so it was difficult to know where everyone went. Those from the damaged areas were encouraged to register at the Red Cross’s Safe & Well program so officials and families would know who was all right.
Deeds said 250 people were taken from the Granbury area, about 90 of them from the Rancho Brazos subdivision. Sixteen were taken to Fort Worth hospitals and 38 to the local hospital in Granbury. Fourteen were admitted there.
The sheriff said the area was hit by as many three tornadoes.