Weather Service Confirms Tornado Struck Canton

(May 2, 2008)--Fast-moving storms flashed through East Texas Friday, spawning one tornado in Canton and possibly others in at least two more small towns.

The high winds uprooted trees, flipped cars and yanked down power lines as they skipped across Van Zandt, Smith, Rusk and Panola Counties.

The rain and wind accompanied a line of thunderstorms that blew in with a cold front, said Nick Hampshire, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth.

After a National Weather Service crew visited the site Friday afternoon, the agency confirmed that an EF-1 tornado with winds of about 90 miles per hour struck Canton.

Witnesses said the twister blew through a popular First Monday open-air market in Canton around 8:15 a.m., toppling tents and snapping power lines.

The sprawling flea market’s first Monday trade weekend started Thursday and the market was back in business soon after the storm struck.

Two people injured there were transported to the hospital complaining of chest pains.

A third person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries when powerful winds overturned their vehicle on a freeway about a mile away.

Even so, there were no known major injuries and damage overall was minimal.

Two people trapped in a van by a fallen tree were freed unharmed while a woman in an overturned recreational vehicle was "shaken up" but did not appear seriously injured,



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