ROCKWALL COUNTY — The tornado that hit Rockwall County on Tuesday afternoon ripped through two neighborhoods and an industrial park.
Filliberto Padilla had just come home from school when the skies turned dark and the winds churned into a fury. "So I walked outside, and I could see the tornado forming," he said. "It started spinning in circles. As soon as it hit the floor, debris started picking up."
So Padilla and his father quickly grabbed their three Chihuahuas and drove to safety.
When they returned, they were overwhelmed by what they saw.
"It took my breath away, because I thought I lost everything," Padilla said. "I dropped to my knees because I thought, 'This is it.'"
Pasqual Padilla is thankful. Some of his neighbor's homes were destroyed.
"Nobody's hurt over here. Everybody's OK," the elder Padilla said.
The tornado damaged at least 16 homes and several businesses. It uprooted large trees and left power lines across roads.
Some homes on Lacy Lane were among the hardest hit. "We removed at least four people from homes on Lacy Lane that were trapped in debris," said Rockwall County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Robert Mutchell.
It took rescue workers an hour to free a man from the wreckage of his mobile home. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.
Deputies said he was the only person injured.