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Tornadoes Strike Texas, Louisiana for Second Day; Oil Worker Killed

November 17, 1987|From United Press International

Tornadoes struck Texas and Louisiana for a second day Monday, killing an oil rig workman, as residents in both states labored to clean up from an earlier swarm of twisters that had claimed 10 lives.

Tornadoes and high winds were reported Sunday and Monday in 21 Texas counties, causing destruction in a 500-mile-wide area, said David Wells of the state Department of Public Safety. The storms destroyed or damaged scores of homes, schools and businesses and left tens of thousands without power.

Louisiana Gov. Edwin W. Edwards declared hard-hit Caddo Parish in the northwest corner of the state a disaster area. He also declared a state of emergency in nine parishes that bore the brunt of high-wind damage and flooding from torrential rains accompanying the severe weather.

Tornadoes were spotted near Jennings and Lacassine in southwest Louisiana and in Cheneyville in the central portion of the state.

Police rescued a 15-month-old girl trapped for several hours under a mobile home in Shreveport, and residents saved a baby from a car that her mother crashed into a rain-swollen ditch.

Thirty National Guard troops dispatched by Texas Gov. Bill Clements patrolled the hard-hit town of Palestine, where power and telephone service remained spasmodic from the storms.

The first wave of tornadoes cut across eastern Texas and into Louisiana Sunday and a second series swirled up Monday from southeast Texas to the Gulf of Mexico and eastward across Louisiana.

The massive storm system spread snow and rain from the Rockies to the Plains and edged eastward Monday, taking aim at the Midwest.

Streets were flooded early Monday in Little Rock, Ark., where up to 3 inches of rain was reported.

Thunderstorms Monday reached from the eastern half of Texas across the lower Mississippi Valley to eastern Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota.

Eleven people were known dead--10 in Texas and one in Louisiana--and about 250 were injured in the storms. All but one of the deaths occurred Sunday.

The latest death was that of a workman crushed when an oil rig was blown over on top of him by a tornado Monday near Bay City, Tex.

The twister also destroyed the office of the Marathon Oil Co. plant and blew a train off its tracks onto a highway, Matagorda County sheriff's officials said.

Power was knocked out to about 70,000 Houston Lighting & Power Co. customers Monday in southern Houston, Nassau Bay and Friends-wood, company spokesman Floyd LeBlanc said.

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