Hood County Sheriff's Office officials released the names of six victims killed in tornadoes that touched down in North Texas Wednesday.
Officials said the deceased are: Robert H. Whitehead, approximately 60 years old; Glenda Whitehead, age unknown; Jose Tovar Alvarez, 34; Leo Stefanski, 83; Tommy Martin, 61, and Marjari Davis, approximately 82 years old,
National Weather Service officials also increased the count of the number of tornadoes that touched down. So far, 16 tornadoes have been confirmed, the NWS said. The first tornado occurred in Montague County around 5:38 CDT Wednesday with the last reported at 12:10 a.m. Thursday in Ennis, according to officials.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Dallas/Fort Worth said at least two tornadoes hit the Granbury area. Granbury is located about 40 miles southwest of Fort Worth.
One of the tornadoes was classified as an EF-4 based on the Fujita tornado damage scale. The tornado's width was ¾ to one-mile wide and it traveled 2-3 miles on the ground.
The National Weather Service said the storm carried wind speeds up to 200 mph. At least 97 homes were damaged. Trailers were tossed and thrown up to 100 yards.
Hood County officials were continuing search and rescue efforts as seven people were still missing Thursday afternoon.
Utility officials said nearly 15,000 homes and businesses lost electricity at some point following Wednesday night’s storms.
United Cooperative Services says more than 100 utility poles were toppled by the severe weather.
The Hood County sheriff activated a network of 12 to 15 storm spotters Wednesday evening to help the county be on alert for the incoming storms.
Texas leaders offered their support to the communities affected by the deadly tornadoes.
Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday said he's deeply saddened by the deaths. Perry says the State Operations Center continues to monitor the situation.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn also offered condolences over the destruction and loss of life. Cornyn says all of Texas stands with the communities.
Grocery stores taking donations
Both Kroger and HEB grocery stores are aiding in the relief efforts for North Texas tornado victims by providing an opportunity for customers to help those affected by the Tornadoes.
H-E-B stores: H-E-B donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross and is accepting customer donations for the victims of the recent tornadoes which devastated areas of North Texas.
The campaign offers H-E-B customers an opportunity to join H-E-B’s aid by adding a donation in increments of $1, $3, or $5 to their total grocery bill. Customers may elect to donate multiple increments if they wish and no purchase is necessary to make a donation.
Kroger stores: Shoppers can support the tornado relief efforts in Granbury, Cleburne and other affected areas by participating in a coin box fundraiser presented by Kroger and the American Red Cross. Customers can visit any Kroger store in Texas to make a donation at the register. One hundred percent of the donations collected will benefit the American Red Cross.