GRAYSON COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – This morning we’ll learn if tornadoes are to blame for the damage caused in parts of North Texas. It sure looks like that might be the case in the town of Howe, about 25 miles straight north from McKinney.
As many as three tornados may have blown through Grayson County Tuesday night, flipping over semis, damaging homes and sending at least five people to the hospital.
The storm was so strong it splintered tree trunks in Howe. One woman there suffered serious injuries after a twister uprooted a tree, which then struck her car along US Highway 75, authorities said.
“We have several houses that have damage,” Howe police Chief Carl Hudman tells CBS 11 News. “We have a metal storage building company on the east side that was hit and destroyed.”
Debris from that location could be seen scattered across the parking lot and campus of Howe High School, which was also damaged. The district canceled classes so repairs could be made.
A shelter has been set up at the Howe Church of Christ for people whose homes are unlivable.
The Tapia family built their home a generation ago, but this morning there’s nothing left. When the storm hit a mother and her 10 and 11-year-old sons were in the house. They heard the wind pick up, took cover in a central bathroom and survived as their home came crashing down around them.
Once the storm passed, they called relatives for help. Family member Alex Rosales recalls, “We got a phone call from them. They said the roof was falling.”
Rosales left his home and got to his family as quickly as he could. Once there the sight was shocking. “We thought it was just the roof,” he said. “As we entered we see everything destroyed. My dad gets off the truck, zooming to find them; I got off at the same time. Those trees were everywhere. So I go for my dad and that’s when I see his mom and his little brothers come out.”
The family raises livestock and many of their animals are on the loose.
But amazingly the family’s five little Blue Heller puppies also survived the storm. The mother dog was watching over them Wednesday morning, no doubt the same way she had Tuesday night.
Chief Hudman said what is believed to have been a tornado came across FM 902 in Howe, struck several vehicles and knocked a couple of 18-wheeler trucks over.
All of the injured were taken to a Sherman hospital, he said.
Near Stark Lane in Howe, a CBS 11 News photographer reported seeing at least 20 homes that had moderate to serious storm damage. Hudman said, “We’re still assessing the situation and seeing what assistance we can provide.”
In Whitesboro, a probable tornado ripped the roof from a local medical clinic and damaged some nearby town homes. No one at that location was hurt..
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