Authorities believe as many as four people were killed and dozens injured, though they were still assessing the damage from the storms that swept through an area about 50 miles east of Dallas on Saturday evening.
PHOTOS: Tornadoes rip through Canton, Texas
Video from local television stations showed uprooted trees and overturned cars along rural, wet roadways, along with at least two flattened homes. The tornado flipped pickup trucks at a Dodge dealership in Canton and tore through the business.
Fifty six people were treated at three hospitals and six remained hospitalized Sunday morning, two of them in critical condition, ETMC Regional Health Care Systems spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley said.
Search teams were going door to door Sunday after the tornadoes the day before flattened homes, uprooted trees and flipped several pickup trucks at a Dodge dealership in Canton.
"It is heartbreaking and upsetting to say the least," Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett told reporters at a news conference Sunday morning.
The storms cut a path of destruction 35 miles (56 kilometers) long and 15 miles (24 kilometers) wide in Van Zandt County, Everett said. The largely rural area is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Dallas.
The National Weather Service found evidence of four tornadoes with one twister possibly on the ground for 50 miles (80 km).
The first reports of tornadoes came about 4:45 p.m. Saturday, but emergency crews were hampered by continuing severe weather, said Judge Don Kirkpatrick, the chief executive for Van Zandt County.
"We'd be out there working and get a report of another tornado on the ground," he said.
One resident, Ernestine Cook, told Dallas television station WFAA she rushed to a storm center just in time.
"It hit so hard, so fast. It just kept moving," she said. "I've never seen anything like it after 22 years of living here."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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