By BRAD KELLAR
Multiple structures were damaged and several injuries were reported in Hunt County, after a series of tornadoes crossed the region Thursday.
The extent of the devastation was still being tallied late Thursday night, but emergency management and law enforcement agencies were indicating an untold number of structures were damaged or destroyed in a wide area between U.S. Highway 69 and State Highway 34 north of Greenville. At least four people were reported to have been hurt as a result of the storms, which passed through Denton and Collin counties before reaching Hunt County.
The American Red Cross was establishing emergency operations at the Kingston Baptist Church Thursday night. Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said three were injured at a residence on County Road 1081 and one individual was hurt at a residence on FM 1569, after he was blown out of his trailer home into a field.
All of the injured were transported to the Hunt Regional Healthcare hospital in Greenville. The extent of the injuries was unknown.
Hunt County Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Hill reported “multiple homes” were damaged or destroyed along County Roads 1079 and 1081 and along FM 1569.
As of press time, emergency responders were reported to be attempting to reach at least one home on County Road 1003, where a tree was reported to have fallen onto the residence and where one person was said to have been injured.
A door to door search was under way by first responders late Thursday night of the homes along County Road 1081 north of Greenville, with the personnel checking on residents as the power was still out in the area.
A tornado warning was issued for southeastern Fannin County shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday, as storm spotters observed a developing tornado seven miles west of Ladonia. The extent of any damage to the region was unknown Thursday night.
The storm which struck Hunt County formed near Denton at around 6;30 p.m. Thursday, as a tornado was reported near Krum. The same cell retained its strength, generating reports of tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds as it moved its way slowly west to east along U.S. Highway 380 through Collin County and into Hunt County.
Princeton and Farmersville were reported to have been struck by tornadoes as the storm progressed.
Hunt County was placed under a tornado warning at around 7:45 p.m. Thursday, after the tornado was struck Farmersville was reported to be moving east at 35 mph. The storm moved just north of Greenville and crossed a path between Merit, Celeste and Wolfe City. The cell dumped baseball sized hail in Commerce before finally exiting the county at around 9 p.m.
Golfballl size hail and a brief tornado were also reported in Cooper as the storm crossed into Delta County.
In addition to the tornadoes, winds reported near 70 mph and large hail, the storms prompted the issuance of a flash flood warning for Hunt County, due to the occasional brief heavy rains.
Although the strongest of the storms had moved into East Texas as of press time, a tornado watch remained in place for Hunt County until 4 a.m. today.