Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tornados treffen grensgebied Mexico VS 10 doden en veel vermisten

Tornado kills 10 on Texas-Mexico border

Story Highlights• Tornado kills seven, injures 75 in Eagle Pass, Texas
• Three killed in Piedras Negras, Mexico
• Storm brings floods in Iowa, Nebraska
• School, 20 homes, sewage plant trashed in Eagle Pass
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EAGLE PASS, Texas (AP) -- Rescue efforts resumed at daybreak Wednesday outside this border city where a tornado killed at least seven people, destroyed two schools and damaged more than 20 homes.

Three other people died a few miles away in Mexico.

Five of the Texas victims apparently were in one mobile home, Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster said. (Watch damage where storm tossed mobile home into school )

The violent weather also raked Piedras Negras, Mexico, where at least three people died and 40 were injured, said Oscar Murillo, the city's civil protection director.

The huge weather system that caused the destruction was plowing through the Midwest on Wednesday after spinning off tornadoes in Oklahoma and Colorado, causing flooding in Iowa and Nebraska and piling snow more than a foot deep in the Rockies.

A tornado that struck the rural Rosita Valley area outside Eagle Pass destroyed two schools, City Councilman Ramsey English Cantu said Wednesday in an interview with AP Radio.

"There was one elementary that was destroyed," he said. "We have behind that a literacy academy for younger individuals that's like a preschool. That's not even standing, just completely leveled." (Watch why some people try to get close to tornadoes )

Teams were still assessing the damage Wednesday morning in the border area about 150 miles south of San Antonio. (Map)

National Guard units attached to the Border Patrol were assisting local agencies in their door-to-door search and rescue efforts, Fire Chief Rogelio de la Cruz said.

More than 350 people were in shelters Wednesday morning, Cantu said. "Of course, some also may be staying with relatives. It's just a very, very catastrophic event that has come into this community."

Officials said 76 people were taken to Fort Duncan Medical Center, the city's only hospital. Four were transferred to hospitals in San Antonio and Del Rio in critical condition. (Watch as sunrise reveals tornado's destruction )

"The hospital in the early stages was being overrun, but they had called in additional doctors and were able to take care of business," Foster said.

Severe thunderstorms also battered other parts of Texas with high wind, flooding rain and hail.

Streets were flooded and roofs peeled off homes in North Texas as the first thunderstorms moved through Tuesday afternoon, followed by another line of severe storms about six hours later. Television footage showed drivers and residents being rescued from flooded cars and suburban neighborhoods.

Airport control tower evacuated
American Airlines canceled about 200 flights in Dallas, spokesman Billy Sanez said. The airline also diverted about 80 flights bound for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to other airports, including San Antonio.

Sanez said American working with the San Antonio airport and the Red Cross to house passengers at a nearby high school because hotel rooms were scarce.

The DFW airport's flight control tower was temporarily evacuated Tuesday night but the airport remained open, said Ken Capps, the airport's vice president of public affairs.

Elsewhere, as much as 3½ inches of rain fell Tuesday on western and central Iowa, washing out roads, flooding basements and causing at least one landslide that buried part of Interstate 29 in Sioux City in trees and mud. No vehicles were driving through the spot when the mudslide happened, officials said.

More than 5 inches of rain fell at Holdrege and Kearney, Nebraska.

"We've got full ditches, water over the roads in some cities, urban areas," said meteorologist Cindy Fay at the National Weather Service office in Hastings.

Snow strands busloads of children
In Colorado, six buses carrying at least 60 children were stranded when the storm dropped more than a foot of snow in about two hours, said Rob Finley, assistant fire marshal for El Paso County. The children were taken to shelters in the county about 80 miles south of Denver.

Crews used Sno-Cats to rescue dozens of motorists from snow-covered roads on the plains east of Colorado Springs, said Lt. Clif Northam of the El Paso County sheriff's office. Evergreen, Colorado, in the foothills west of Denver, reported 16 inches of snow.

A tornado damaged several buildings near the small town of Wild Horse about 110 miles southeast of Denver, but no injuries were reported, the Cheyenne County Sheriff's Department said.

Another twister touched down in north-central Oklahoma but no damages or injuries were reported.