Rain continued to drench the saturated South Thursday after deadly storms unleashed more than 20 tornadoes across Texas, shattering one town and forcing hundreds to leave their homes in low-lying areas.
One tornado killed a woman, and three people were swept to their deaths in swollen creeks. Fifty people suffered storm-related injuries.Meanwhile, snow fell in the Rockies and temperatures dipped to freezing in the Pacific Northwest.
But in Texas, twisters took their toll:
-A predawn tornado Wednesday ravaged the small Texas town of Jarrell, killing a woman who had been asleep in her mobile home. The twister roared through the town of 1,000 people 40 miles from Austin, demolishing 33 houses, 12 mobile homes and 16 businesses, said David Barham of the state's emergency management office.
About two dozen people were injured and treated at hospitals.
"I heard a bolt of lightning, and it wasn't more than five minutes before all hell broke loose," said W.G. Schurhammer, whose apartment house was damaged.
-A Wednesday afternoon tornado cut a quarter-mile-wide swath for as much as 30 miles through east Texas, destroying homes and injuring at least nine people.
-A twister near Houston injured eight people, authorities said.
-Another twister touched down six miles northwest of Lufkin, destroying eight homes in Allentown, said Angelina County sheriff's officers. At least nine people were injured, they said.
And if wind wasn't enough, water was equally devastating:
-Rising water on the Trinity River in Dallas caused a levee failure that forced hundreds of Dallas-Fort Worth area residents from their homes.
"You could hear the roar of the creek right behind our trailers," said Don Reiter, who escaped high water Wednesday in Kennedale. "We didn't take anything because it came so fast. Our cars are gone, our boats are gone. What we have on our back is just what we have."
-In south Dallas, a car driven by a 56-year-old woman stalled as she tried to cross a bridge. Firefighters barricading the bridge urged her not to attempt the crossing, said firefighter Dennis Ground.
-The body of 73-year-old Grand Prairie man was found in his truck, which had been swept into a flooded creek branch. A man was killed when his car was swept into McAnear Creek south of Fort Worth.
-Rescuers plucked people from yards, trees and car tops. The pilot of a radio station helicopter pulled two girls and their mother from the roof of their car just before it was swept away in a rain-swollen creek in Cleburne.
-Bobby Valentine, manager of the Texas Rangers baseball team, sought help from a radio station helicopter to reach two of his horses that were trapped by rising waters behind his Fort Worth home.
He was able to lead the horses to safety, but his son's pony drowned.
-Storms drenched Freestone County, Texas, with 5 inches of rain, and flash flooding washed out roads and bridges.
Buckets of water
In a six-hour period ending at midnight Wednesday, these cities received at least their fair share of rain.
Houston 4 inches
Fort Polk, La. 1.74 inches
Wenatchee, Wash. .72 inches
Dodge City, Kan. .54 inches