Fatalities and Extensive Damage Reported in North Texas

May 17, 2013

At least six people were killed and more than 100 people injured in overnight thunderstorms in North Texas. Reports of softball size hail and as many as 10 tornadoes were reported.

The storms began intensifying in Mineral Wells where softball size hail fell. Mark Wiley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Southern Region Headquarters in Fort Worth, said he saw photos of the hail in Mineral Wells. “Holy cow, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Wiley. “The hail could have been larger than softballs.”

The storms continue to move eastward and the fatalities and most damage occurred just south of the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Hood, Johnson and Ellis Counties. Dozens of what were reported as “well-constructed homes” were demolished in each county. A mile-wide tornado was reported in Cleburne.

So far, the fatalities were reported in Granbury where the National Weather Service said multiple tornadoes may have touched down. The National Weather Service has sent out storm teams to assess the damage and determine the strength and number of tornadoes that struck the area.

Additional severe damage occurred in Ennis where straight line winds of 70 mph damaged additional homes. Reports of ping pong size hail fell throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Insurance companies are responding with catastrophic teams to the hardest hit areas to check on policyholders. Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas, said insurance adjusters will be responding as quickly as possible to policyholders whose homes have been destroyed.

“Insurance adjusters will be trying to reach policyholders and providing them with additional living expense checks if their homes have been destroyed or unlivable,” said Hanna. “This will be a massive response because we’re talking a very large area of destruction.”

Source: The Insurance Council of Texas

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