Bazette Tornado
Articles
Navarro County, Texas


HOME


Bazette Community || Disasters Index


 

Tornadoes, storms and flooding kill 52
USA Today 01/06/99

Tornadoes, 100-mph wind gusts, torrential rains and flooding killed at least 61 people and left a swath of destruction through east Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia since Saturday, Mar. 1, and Sun. Mar. 2.

President Clinton signed a disaster declaration Sunday for nine Arkansas counties, where Gov. Mike Huckabee described damage as of "apocalyptic proportions."

The hardest hit area in Arkansas was the Sardis community of Saline County, west of Little Rock, with 10 confirmed dead.

Rescue workers meticulously searched through the twisted debris of a demolished mobile home park in Sardis on Sunday, while many residents returned to what was left of their homes for the first time since the storm.

Nearly 400 people were injured in hundreds of homes, businesses and other structures were destroyed or damaged along a 260-mile path from Hempstead County in the southwest to Greene County in the state's northeastern corner. At least 10,000 electricity customers had no power.

Clinton toured the devastated areas of his home state Tuesday, Mar. 4. "The storm hit places and people we know well, and our hearts and prayers are with everyone who lost loved ones, homes and businesses," he said.

Two people died early Sunday when a tornado with 100 mph wind gusts landed in Bazette, Texas. A mobile home was flipped, crushing a man and his daughter. Funnel clouds were also reported over Corsicana, Texas, by an observer in a helicopter. It was the latest in a series of killer storms that rumbled through seven states beginning Saturday.

At least 25 people died in Arkansas Saturday, another 24 in surrounding states, and hundreds more were injured.

It was the USA's worst tornado outbreak since the Palm Sunday storms, which killed 42 people in Alabama and Georgia on March 27-28, 1994.

Weaker storms hit Alabama and Georgia Monday, Mar. 3, before heading out to sea.

But officials in several states are on alert as flooding is expected to spread south from the Ohio Valley.

In Falmouth, Ky., the flooded Licking River forced out most of the 2,400 residents.

"It was unbelievable," said Kentucky state trooper Jan Wuchner, who surveyed the damage in a helicopter. "There is no Falmouth."

A 40-block area of Arkadelphia, Ark., a university town of 10,000 people 50 miles southwest of Little Rock, was devastated after a giant funnel raged through at 2:20 p.m. Saturday, Mar. 1. Five died, dozens were injured.

Debris was carried by the tornado for 50 miles north to Little Rock.

"We'll be years rebuilding," says police Chief Bob Johnston. "I've been here all my life and I've not seen anything like it. America has lost a very neat small town. It really hurts."

By Linda Kanamine and Bill Nichols, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press

--------------

High winds leave two dead in North Texas - 1997

KERENS (AP) - A storm packing winds up to 100 mph cut through rural North Texas Sunday, killing a father and his young daughter who were pinned beneath their overturned mobile home.

Seven others were injured and more than 100 homes were damaged by high winds as the storm made its way through Navarro County northeast to Gun Barrel City in Henderson County, said Texas Division of Emergency Management spokeswoman Jo Schweikhard Moss.

Raymond Hall, 30, and his 2-year-old daughter died when their mobile home flipped into a ditch in the farming community of Bazette, just north of Kerens and about 55 miles southeast of Dallas, said neighbor Katherine Roberts.

Authorities would not confirm the victims' identities Sunday.

Hall's wife, Nikki, managed to escape the home and ran for help.

According to Roberts, who called 911, Raymond Hall had just warned his wife to take cover from the storm when the winds hit.

''We saw one (storm cloud) from the south and one from the north, and they just came together,'' Roberts said. ''They were like line clouds. It looked like a blue norther from two directions.''

Jim Stefkovich of the National Weather Service in Fort Worth said the storm packed winds that gusted to 100 mph.

Damage was scattered as the storm moved northeast. Three homes were destroyed in Henderson County, while 11 were heavily damaged and 102 received minor damage.

In addition, six businesses and a church suffered major damage. Emergency shelters were set up in three communities, she said.

Former space shuttle astronaut Byron Lichtenberg and his wife, Tamara, had the back side of their lakeside house in Gun Barrel City peeled away two days after they moved in.

Mrs. Lichtenberg said she saw what looked like a tornado approach across the lake and the couple hid in the closet beneath the stairs until the train-like noise passed.

Said Lichtenberg, a 23-year Air Force pilot before he joined NASA: ''This was scarier than flying a combat mission in Vietnam. This was scarier than flying the space shuttle.''

---------

Flooding no threat to wet North Texas

DALLAS (AP) - The heavy winds and rain that devastated parts of North Texas on Sunday should pose little flood threat to an area already drenched by the wettest February on record, forecasters say.

''At this point, there's no reason to worry,'' said Douglas Cain, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. ''The rain is ... small enough that it's able to run off. All the rivers are able to handle it.''

Flash floods hit Erath, Lampassas, Comanche and Hamilton counties early Sunday. Later in the day, Hood and Bosque counties also got soaked. But the flooding was largely restricted to high water on roads.

The most severe storm damage was in the northeast part of the state.

In the farming community of Bazette, about 55 miles southeast of Dallas, 30-year-old Raymond Hall and his 2-year-old daughter died when their mobile home flipped into a ditch.

Seven others were injured and more than 100 homes were damaged by high winds as the storm made its way through Navarro County northeast to Gun Barrel City in Henderson County, said Texas Division of Emergency Management spokeswoman Jo Schweikhard Moss.

Cain said only about three-quarters of an inch of rain had fallen at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The Waco area also was under an inch.

 


Navarro County TXGenWeb
Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox