ENNIS -- In Ennis, a twister created a two-and-a-half mile swath of destruction. The worst damage was to businesses along Ennis Drive, just west of Interstate-45.

The National Westher Service confirmed Thursday they are classifying the tornado that ripped through the city as an EF-1 by the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds of 90 mph. It was one of 15 tornadoes that hit North Texas on Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday morning.

The tornado ripped through Ennis just after midnight, peeling the corrugated metal roof off the Ennis Inn motel. Twisted sheets of that metal were blown into nearby businesses, some more than 100 yards away.

Down the street, a Dairy Queen was left ravaged.

"I cried," said manager Nicole Hunter. "I was in tears."

The twister left shreds of hanging metal at front entrance. It blew an air conditioning unit off the roof.

"One is laying on the ground, over there behind the trailer," said Joey Pratt, the Daury Queen owner. "It's pretty bad. We've got water inside where the A/C blew off the roof."

A tall sign, designed to be seen by I-45 traffic, shows the twister's fury. It snapped like a toothpick, sending the huge sign crazing to the ground.

"We're very lucky," Hunter said. "It was a business. Nobody was here -- instead of homes, where other people had lost things. So we're very blessed, for sure."

Only one person was injured in the storm. A child suffered cuts on his arm and head from broken glass. He was treated and released from an Ennis hospital.

As of late Thursday afternoon, 530 people are still without power.


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