Five tornadoes cause east Texas damage

January 22, 2010 4:03:06 AM PST
The National Weather Service has confirmed that at least five tornadoes damaged parts of east Texas. Near Canton tornado, about 55 miles east of Dallas, at least one twister left a 15-mile trail of destruction Wednesday afternoon. The vortex stripped the roof and some of the walls from one home, destroyed a rural church, toppled and uprooted trees and damaged sheds, barns and outbuildings from northwest Canton to near Silver Lake. A National Weather Service statement Thursday estimates the tornado packed winds of 110-120 mph.

Van Zandt County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Turner said that 50 buildings suffered varying degrees of damage from the afternoon's storm.

South of Canton, at least two tornadoes snaked across part of eastern Henderson County. The first near the town of Larue, about 10 miles southeast of Athens and 80 miles southeast of Dallas, collapsed some structure walls with winds estimated at up to 130 mph. Another tracked from near Poynor northeast toward Coffee City, near Lake Palestine, dislodging a mobile home and damaging a wood-framed home along a three-mile damage path. The weather service estimated its winds at 90-100 mph.

Another weather service statement Thursday says at least two twister tore across parts of Hopkins County in northeast Texas. One tracked 1 1/2 miles from four miles southwest of Sulpher Springs to the northeast. It destroyed one mobile home, injuring two occupants, and damaging a metal shed. The weather service estimated its speeds at near 80 mph.

Another twister touched down about a mile south of downtown Sulphur Springs and tore northeast for 1 1/2 miles, damaging about 50 homes and impaling one with large tree branches. Its winds were estimated at about 80-85 mph.