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Tornadoes Strike Eastern Texas, Killing 1

November 24, 2004

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Tornadoes touched down Tuesday in eastern Texas, killing a woman, injuring three people, and destroying several homes after days of rain throughout the region.

Valerie Stewart, a dispatcher for the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, said there was ``pretty extensive damage,″ but she was not aware of other injuries from a deadly late-afternoon tornado _ one of four she said struck the county.

``Several trailers were wiped out,″ Stewart said. She did not know whether the woman who died lived in a trailer.

Authorities in Hardin and neighboring counties said additional storms moved through the region, destroying several homes.

Hardin County Emergency Management spokeswoman Theresa Wigley said the amount of damage was not immediately clear because downed trees and other debris made many roads impassable.

Billy Ted Smith, emergency management coordinator for Jasper, Newton and Sabine counties, said authorities believe three tornadoes hit the town of Kirbyville within minutes Tuesday evening.

Creeks and rivers continued to rise Tuesday after days of heavy rain throughout much of the state.

In Dewitt County, officials called for evacuation of about 100 homes near the Guadalupe River. In Wharton County, about 2,500 people were asked to evacuate their homes near the Colorado River.

``We know we are going to have to go out and get some of these folks with boats because some of them won’t leave,″ said County Judge John Murrile.

A woman was killed Monday in San Antonio when her vehicle was swept off a road.

Winter storm warnings were also posted for parts of the Texas Panhandle, with up to 8 inches of snow forecast.

Update hourly