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Tornado Flattens Small Panhandle Town

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Downed power lines and flattened houses from an apparent tornado in the tiny Panhandle town of Cactus are keeping many residents from returning home.

Officials say at least 14 people were injured, including one critically.

The severe storms in the region Saturday night knocked out power to about 20,000 customers.

Moore County Judge Rowdy Rhoades says about 50 people were still unaccounted for Sunday in Cactus. He thinks all of them are safe and likely evacuated after hearing tornado sirens.

Rhoades says town leaders held an emergency meeting Sunday night and issued a dusk-to-dawn curfew to try and prevent looting.

Rhoades doesn't know when most of the nearly 2500 residents can return. He says officials are waiting to confirm that there aren't any gas leaks in the many mobile homes and houses destroyed by the storm.

Cactus is home to the Swift meatpacking plant that was raided by federal immigration officials in December, when 295 employees were arrested.


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