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Thunderstorms Strike Texas
Written by Mason Anderson, Staff Writer, RedCross.org
April 17, 2002
string of tornadoes and thunderstorms tore through north Texas
Tuesday (April 16), damaging dozens of homes in Ft. Worth and
knocking out power lines throughout the surrounding area. The
American Red Cross immediately set up shelters for affected residents
and is providing emergency supplies and counseling
Early Tuesday evening, around 5:30 p.m. local time,
the first of a series of thunderstorms rolled into the Ft. Worth
area, triggering three tornadoes that damaged homes and buildings.
A little more than an hour later, skies had cleared, but nearly
90 homes had sustained damage, 50 of which were severely damaged
"All of the homes affected were in one localized neighborhood
in Ft. Worth. We set up a shelter nearby right after the sky
cleared for people whose homes had been destroyed or who had
lost power," said Mark Stafford, director of disaster services
for the Chisholm Trail Chapter.
Despite the damage,
no deaths have been reported. Pat Svacina, spokesperson for the
city of Fort Worth, said a few residents were taken to local hospitals
for minor injuries, according to the Associated Press. Svacina
also stated that more than 20 vehicles were involved in a chain
reaction accident related to the storm.
The American Red
Cross began outreach operations early Wednesday (April 17) morning
to deliver emergency supplies and assess the damages.
are delivering meals and clean-up supplies throughout Ft. Worth.
Mental health counselors will be available today to help residents
recover," said Stafford. "We are also going to be setting
up a respite center in Ft. Worth in coordination with Lowe's Home
Improvement Warehouse, which has donated home repair supplies
to assist the recovery effort."
Mild Tornado Season
Despite Tuesday's storms, the 2002 tornado season has been
one of the quietest in recent years. So far, no deaths have been
attributed to tornadoes, making this the furthest the United States
has gone into any year without a tornado related death since record
keeping began in 1950, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Just over a dozen tornadoes have been reported so far this
year. Normally by this time 178 twisters have touched down.
However, meteorologists are warning people to be prepared as
the nation enters the months of peak tornado activity April,
May and June. On average, tornadoes result in the deaths of 70
people each year.