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At Least 4 Die as 75-M.P.H. Wind, Torrential Rains Strike Fort Worth

May 25, 1986|Associated Press

FORT WORTH — Violent, fast-moving thunderstorms with winds up to 75 m.p.h. dumped nearly four inches of rain here Saturday, caving in part of the roof of a crowded bowling alley. At least four deaths were attributed to the storm.

Three people at first feared lost as torrential rains swelled creeks and flooded underpasses were found safe, police spokesman Doug Clarke said.

But Celia Adams, 30, and her 8-year-old son, Michael, were trapped in their car by rising floodwaters and both died, said Drenda Witt, a spokeswoman for John Peter Smith Hospital.

Two other people, whose identities had not been released, died at their homes after suffering heart attacks, which Fire Chief Larry McMillan attributed to "stress and trauma from the storm."

The storm temporarily cut power to more 9,000 homes in the Fort Worth area, officials said.

"I have never seen wind and rain of the intensity that took place today," City Manager Doug Harman said.

The storm caused the roof of Don Carter's All-Star Bowling Lanes to collapse as more than 300 people watched a bowling tournament. At least 14 people were injured, spokesman Pat Svacina said.

"It all happened so fast. Just a big wind came up and I just felt exhaustion, like wind sucking air out of your body. I just hit the deck," said Wes Allen, who works at the bowling alley.

Witt said three victims from the bowling alley had been hospitalized at John Peter Smith in good condition and that one person had been treated and released. Harris Hospital spokeswoman Anne James said the three people hospitalized there were in good condition. The other injured were treated and released.

At the Ramada Inn Central across from the bowling alley, high winds blew out several windows, causing three minor injuries, said Kit Carson, director of the city's emergency management division.

"We had heavy rains, some flooding," said police spokesman Ed Garcia, adding that some underpasses had water four feet deep.

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