Emergency personnel rescued several residents from their homes that were destroyed by a tornado - or maybe two - that moved through an unincorporated area southeast of Royse City Tuesday afternoon.
Lt. David Davis of the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office said the residents apparently had sought refuge in a safe part of their homes, then became trapped by debris after the tornado ripped through the structures about 4 p.m.
Davis said several of the victims were transported to a hospital. He did not believe any of the victims had life threatening injuries.
Davis and Royse City Fire Chief Richard Bell could not estimate how many people were injured or how many houses were damaged or destroyed.
Davis said the sheriff’s office has command posts set up on Munson Road, and Texas 276 and Honey Creek and FM 548 and Bent Trail rd. Davis said the damage was widespread in the general area of the command posts.
The first concern for officers, Davis said, was searching for people.
“They were looking for people who were trapped, injured or just scared,” Davis said.
And officers found people in all those categories.
Several victims, he said, were trapped by the debris from their damaged houses. At one house, Davis said, heavy equipment had to be called in to move the debris.
Bell, who was working with Royse City volunteer firefighters in the area of Texas 276 and Honey Creek, said they had just rescued a man was trapped in his home. Their next step was to go back through the path of damaged homes and conduct a more thorough search for trapped residents.
Emergency personnel also were concerned about the danger of downed power lines. At one point, traffic on Texas 276 was turned back.
Davis said there could have been two tornadoes. There were reports from two deputies, and their reports indicated they were separate tornadoes.
He said it’s very difficult at times to spot a funnel because they can become shrouded in heavy rainstorms.