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Red Cross: 1,100 homes struck by Texas twisters

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:28 AM EDT, Fri April 6, 2012
An estimated 13 tornadoes may have touched down in north Texas on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.
An estimated 13 tornadoes may have touched down in north Texas on Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New tallies show 349 homes were destroyed and 750 damaged
  • Many families are still in shelters
  • The National Weather Service estimates 13 tornadoes hit the area

(CNN) -- Nearly 1,100 homes were hit by the tornadoes that struck the Dallas-Fort Worth area Tuesday, including 349 homes that were destroyed, a Red Cross spokeswoman said Thursday.

Anita Foster of the Red Cross said updated tallies show another 750 homes were damaged.

Many families are still in shelters, unable to return to their homes, Foster said.

"We're dealing with a lot of emotional recovery, which will be just as challenging as the physical recovery," she said.

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With the potential for more severe storms Sunday, she said, the agency is focusing on preparation and advising people what to have in their disaster supply kits.

"We want people to think those things through while the sky is blue," she said. "Things like a working flashlight, a first aid kit, a supply of water, and how to look after pets. We wanted to push those messages with more weather coming in, even if we just get one lightning bolt, that will be frightening for people who just went through this."

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An estimated 13 tornadoes touched down in Dallas, Arlington and the surrounding area Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Dallas-Fort Worth said Thursday. There have been no reports of deaths from the storms.

At least one of the twisters rated up to EF-3, the weather service said. That tornado, in the town of Forney, east of Dallas, had a wind speed as high as 150 mph, it said.

Tornadoes can rate up to an EF-5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which uses damage to calculate the storm's rating. Other tornadoes that touched down in the area Tuesday rated EF-1 and EF-2, according to the weather service.

Belinda Price, who with her husband runs a day care at her home in Forney, protected 15 children in the closet of her home as the tornado approached. Her husband filmed the tan-colored funnel cloud as it approached their neighborhood.

"My first thought was, I have to keep these children safe," Price told HLN on Thursday. "I gave them instructions: When I tell you to run, you run, and you run where I tell you to run."

Some of the children cried, but for the most part, she said, they kept cool.

Price knelt in the closet covering a 4-month-old and said there was barely room for herself.

"There is no doubt in my mind that God covered us," she told CNN affiliate KTVT.

CNN's Nick Valencia contributed to this report.

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