Tornado threat builds across North Texas

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A powerful spring storm unleashed dozens of tornadoes as it moved through the Midwest on Wednesday and Thursday, including a twister in Oklahoma City that injured at least five people — two of them critically.

Joyce Eels said she can live with the fact that a tornado took off most of the roof of her home — she's just thankful to be alive.

"All the important things are OK," she said Thursday. "My husband and family are OK. That's the important stuff."

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Tornadoes or high winds are believed to have killed at least four people in three states, including a woman who was flung into a tree by a twister that witnesses said was as wide as two football fields.

At least 65 tornadoes were reported in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska by late Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

In Oklahoma, a 7-year-old girl was treated at a hospital for cuts, and two people were injured when a van was thrown from the Kilpatrick Turnpike into a concrete culvert, said Oklahoma City Deputy Fire Chief Tony Young.

Vance and Barbra Woodbury were killed Wednesday when a twister blew apart their home near the Panhandle community of Elmwood.

"We set off the tornado sirens, but they live too far out to hear them," said Dixie Parker, Beaver County's emergency management director.

"The house was just flattened, the out buildings are gone. All that's left is debris."

In the Texas Panhandle, Monte Ford, 53, was killed when he was thrown from his trailer after high winds caused it to roll. Storms moving across the northern part of the state brought up to 7 inches of rain in areas and led to numerous high-water rescues on flooded roads.

Tornadoes uprooted trees, overturned trucks and injured at least three people in the Panhandle. The region also got baseball-sized hail.

On Thursday, flooding plagued parts of the state, with traffic accidents and high-water rescues reported.

Oklahomans were bracing for more severe weather, as watches and warnings continued.

Forecasters say the threat of tornadoes is building across parts of North and Central Texas as another cluster of severe thunderstorms approaches the areas.

A tornado watch has been posted for areas from the Texas Hill Country to the Red River and from Abilene to just east of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The National Weather Service says there have been unconfirmed reports of tornadoes today near Dripping Springs, southwest of Austin, and south of Eastland in the rolling plains west of Fort Worth. There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

There also have been numerous tornado warnings triggered by radar surveillance of storms forecasters believed could spawn funnels.

The storm cluster developed early this morning in West Texas, near San Angelo, and has been drifting eastward since then -- seemingly building in intensity.

That's after a night of heavy rain caused widespread flash flooding in the counties south of Dallas. No injuries have been reported, but there were numerous high-water rescues of motorists and some evacuations.

Flash flood watches are in effect from south and west of San Antonio to the Red River, and from the Pecos River to east of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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