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Tornadoes, Storms Hit North Texas

April 17, 2002

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ Tornadoes and strong storms slammed into northern Texas on Tuesday night, damaging at least two dozen homes, ripping the roof off a church and snarling air and ground traffic.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities or life-threatening injuries.

Annette Brown, 42, said she and her mother sought shelter in the bathroom of their Fort Worth home. When they emerged to survey the storm damage, they saw their carport had been tossed from the front yard to the back yard.

``But the Lord was good,″ Brown said. ``It didn’t land on the roof. It went on over.″

Across the street, which was partially blocked by a 30-foot tree, Julie Diop said strong wind gusts snapped a tree at the trunk and smashed their car.

``I was scared, but it could have been worse,″ Diop said.

Pat Svacina, spokesman for the city of Fort Worth, said a few people were transported to hospitals, but none with serious injuries. He said damage was reported to 18 to 20 homes in a mobile home park, and to six houses in another area of the city.

Svacina said 25 vehicles were involved in a chain reaction accident on a freeway deluged with rainwater. He said five people were injured.

A gaping hole was left in the roof of Handley United Methodist Church and several of its stained glass windows were blown out.

``It was just unbelievable, the amount of damage I saw,″ said Bob Whitt, a 30-year church member and chairman of the board.

Two tornadoes touched down briefly in Johnson County, just south of Fort Worth, but no damage was reported, said Sheriff Bob Alford. The storm brought intense hail and rain.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, spokesman Ken Capps said incoming and outgoing flights were halted for about 45 minutes.

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