THORNTON, Texas — A tornado blew through a small Central Texas community Saturday, damaging houses and injuring at least four people, authorities said.
The storm cut a wide swath east of Thornton, said Aubrey Briggs, mayor pro tem of the city of about 500 people about 35 miles east of Waco.
"It missed the city. It was pretty widespread and pretty destructive," Briggs said. "My sister-in-law saw it. She said it was just a red cloud. It must have been sucking dirt out of the ground."
The National Weather Service said several tornadoes blew through the state Saturday.
A command post was set up at a school in Thornton, where several people were treated for cuts and bruises and some were sent by ambulance to area hospitals, Briggs said. Four people were taken to Limestone Medical Center in nearby Groesbeck.
Storm damage also was reported near Hico, about 65 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Authorities said some power lines were knocked down there.
Strong winds damaged part of a hospital and knocked out power to several homes and businesses in the East Texas town of Atlanta, near the state's border with Arkansas and Louisiana.
Tom Crow, administrator at Atlanta Memorial Hospital, said a glass corridor connecting the hospital to administrative offices was destroyed by wind.
"It just took the top off. It happened really, really fast," Crow said. "I drove around in town and I saw a couple of big trees, I mean big trees you can't get your arm around. They were knocked down."
Meanwhile, flash flood watches and warnings continue for dozens of counties in North and East Texas.
The sprawling storm system should move out of the state by today, forecasters said.