Police say that people may still be unaccounted for after a violent wedge-shaped tornado ripped through the tiny city of Canton, Texas, on Saturday night, killing at least five and injuring dozens more. Two other tornadoes hit the region, which is east of Dallas, as well.
According to Canton Fire Department Capt. Brian Horton, one person died when a tornado tossed their vehicle along Highway 64 and he expects to see the number of fatalities rise on Sunday.
People who don’t need to be in the area are being asked to stay away, said Horton, “so that our teams can do what they need to do to take care of these people who are in need.” A triage center has been set up at the local high school.
When the storm let up, more than 50 people were treated for non-life threatening injuries at ETMC Regional Healthcare Systems hospitals in the region, but one person was in critical condition, said spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley.
Video from local television stations showed uprooted trees, overturned cars, and at least two homes destroyed. Pickup trucks at a Dodge dealership in Canton were tossed about like toys after the tornado ripped through the business.
It’s been confirmed by the National Weather Service that at least three tornadoes touched down and tore through Canton, Eustace and Canton City.
The tornado that ripped a 40-mile path through Canton was estimated at up to a half-mile wide and also traveled north, hitting the towns of Fruitvale and Emory, according to news reports.
One local resident, Ernestine Cook, said that she made it to a storm center just in time. “It hit so hard, so fast. It just kept moving,” she recalled. “I’ve never seen anything like it after 22 years of living here.”
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