CISCO, TEXAS —
Multiple tornadoes tore through the southern U.S. state of Texas on Saturday, leaving one person dead and others unaccounted for in a sparsely populated farming and ranching area as the system slowly weakened while advancing toward Fort Worth.
Walter Fairbanks, fire chief in Cisco, confirmed there was one fatality when the tornado hit Saturday afternoon near the town.
Authorities were going house to house to assess the damage, but that proved difficult amid the heavy rainfall, Eastland County Judge Rex Fields said.
"There is a considerable amount of damage,'' Fields, who also serves as the county's emergency services coordinator, told The Associated Press. "Homes have been lost.''
The extent of injuries or fatalities wasn't immediately clear there or in the town of Burkburnett, where a second tornado touched down. A police dispatcher who declined to give her name because of department policy said tornado sirens could be heard in Burkburnett just before 6 p.m.
The storm was about 30 miles (50 kilometers) outside Fort Worth around 8:30 p.m., but the National Weather Service had canceled tornado warnings in the counties still in its path.
Storms also brought heavy rain and quarter-sized hail to parts of southwest Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon, but meteorologists said there was so much rain — and so little sun — that the tornado threat there lessened throughout the day.
Heavy rains on Friday night caused some flooding in Oklahoma. Earlier in the week, powerful storms rumbled through the southern Plains, producing more than 50 tornadoes and dropping 7.1 inches of rain in Oklahoma City on Wednesday — the third-heaviest rainfall for any day on record dating to 1890, state climatologist Gary McManus said.