Tornadoes touch down south and east of Dallas

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by PETE DELKUS and STEVE McCAULEY

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WFAA

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 26 at 4:36 PM

Tornado damage

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Two dangerous storms spawned tornadoes south and east of Dallas Sunday evening.

The National Weather Service said Rice High School in Navarro County sustained significant damage and "multiple vehicles" on Interstate 45 were overturned with motorists trapped inside.

Navarro County Sheriff Leslie Cotten said Sunday's storm caused an unknown number of injuries, although News 8 had not received any reports of anyone who had been seriously hurt.

Cotten said officials had "a mess" on Interstate 45 near Rice, about 45 miles south of Dallas.

Michael Harper, a motorist on his way to Kingwood from Plano in a white SUV, had his car crushed by a dump truck that had been on the back of a flatbed 18-wheeler. Harper suffered only scratches and was able to clmib out of his window to safety.

The roof of the intermediate school in Rice was severely damaged, and the an adjacent athletic field was also hit hard.

Not far away, several freight cars were toppled from a railroad track.

The National Weather Service said a number of homes were damaged along FM 513 in southern Hunt County near Lone Oak.

The intense thunderstorms produced heavy rain, high wind and hail in parts of North Texas on Sunday afternoon, primarily in an area east of Dallas/Fort Worth.

There was a report of baseball-size hail in parts of Ellis County around 5:30 p.m. and golf ball-size hail was reported in other parts of the tornado watch zone.

"The reason why we're a little bit more concerned about tornadoes today than we were yesterday is because the thunderstorms themselves are able to become more isolated," said meteorologist Steve McCauley. "They're not a solid line of thunderstorms across North Texas, and that means the energy here in the North Texas area... it's being able to concentrate in these individual thunderstorms which gives them that extra edge to produce the tornado activity.

The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado did touch down in east Fort Worth on Saturday at Trinity Boulevard and Trinity Lakes Drive.

The tornado — rated as an EF-0, at the low end of the scale — ripped away part of the roof and shattered windows at the Woodstock apartment complex, where 50 units suffered damage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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