Rice Tornado That Injured Four Was EF-2: NWS

The National Weather Service said Monday that a tornado that ripped through Rice and injured four people on Sunday was an EF-2 with winds of  up to 135 mph.

The tornado's swath was estimated to be 7 miles long and 100 yards wide.

Navarro County Sheriff Leslie Cotten said the roof of the intermediate school in Rice was severely damaged, and the high school athletic fields sustained damage as well. The roof of several classrooms and the gym were torn off by the tornado. County Judge H.M. Davenport said the school had only been open for nine months, making it an even more devastating loss for the small school district.

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All Rice schools are closed this week.

Navarro County Chief Deputy Mike Cox said five homes were also damaged in the storm.

He said a truck traveling on Interstate 45 overturned near Rice, striking a car, leaving four people with non-life-threatening injuries. Cox also said some freight train cars derailed. Those injured were taken to Navarro regional hospital in Corsicana.

The NWS said another tornado also caused "significant" damage to several homes in Lone Oak, about 80 miles northeast of Rice in Hunt County.

That tornado was an EF-0 with winds of 80 to 85 mph, the weather service said. It damaged 10 homes along a 200-yard damage path 50 yards wide.

According to the Red Cross, damage assessment teams have been on the ground throughout Navarro and Hunt counties to determine how many families might need help from the Red Cross.

The Red Cross said Monday morning that 11 homes in the two-county area sustained damage. Seven were destroyed or had major damage.

Red Cross workers will meet with each of the families to help with things such as groceries, clothing and safe shelter for those who are unable to return home.

The Red Cross said it is working with local emergency managers and asked that anyone impacted by the tornadoes who may need help should call 214-678-4800.

NBC DFW viewers sent in these images of funnel clouds, tornadoes, and thunderstorms -- view them in a gallery by clicking here. If you have photos or videos of the severe weather, please e-mail them to isee@nbcdfw.com.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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