Violent wedge tornado hits Canton, Texas, at least 5 dead and over 50 injured

Violent wedge tornado hits Canton, Texas, at least 5 dead and over 50 injured

At least 54 people were injured and 5 killed after a violent wedge tornado touched down near Canton, Texas on Saturday, April 29, 2017. NWS confirmed two more tornadoes in the region, one in Eustace and the other in Caney City. Damage surveys are in progress and it is possible to find additional damage or tornadoes. Officials say the number of casualties may go up as search and rescue efforts continue.

The National Weather Service confirmed at least three tornadoes touched down about 96 km (60 miles) east of Dallas, Texas late Saturday, leaving a trail of damage in the Van Zandt, Henderson and Rains counties. The first tornado (EF-3, preliminary) touched down near Canton in Van Zandt County and traveled north into Rains County. The second touched down outside the town of Eustace in the Henderson County and the third in Caney City along Cedar Lake, also in Henderson County. The city of Canton in Van Zandt County was hardest hit.

In a news conference Saturday night, the Canton Fire Department said at least five people were killed after storms left behind dozens of cars overturned, mangled trees and damaged homes in and around Canton. NWS Forth Worth is still on the scene assessing damage and have not yet rated the tornadoes. "Teams will start surveying on Sunday and it will take several days," they said.

Some unofficial, preliminary estimates mention Canton tornado as EF-4. It was on the ground for 64 km (40 miles), long enough to hit Fruitvale, Van Zandt and Emory, Rains County, NBC 5 Meteorologist David Finfrock said. Many homes were damaged or destroyed in Fruitvale, NBC reported.

ETMC Regional Healthcare Systems spokeswoman Rebecca Berkley said hospitals in the region received at least 54 patients, including one person in critical condition. "Other patients suffered injuries that weren’t life-threatening.

NWS said Missouri and Texas saw 101 - 152 mm (4 - 6 inches) of rain on Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29, with some areas receiving up to 229 mm (9 inches).

Featured image: Canton, Texas tornado on April 29, 2017. Credit: Weather Nation

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