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Twisters sweep TX

BY SUSAN KIM | CORPUS CHRISTI | October 26, 2002

"We have extensive damage along the path of the tornado."

—Mayor Lloyd Neal

Three tornadoes hit Corpus Christi, Tex. Thursday afternoon, cutting a five-mile swath of damage through the city and hitting the campus of the area's Del Mar College. One person died on the campus from tornado-related injuries, according to Corpus Christi police reports. At least 14 others were injured.

Gov. Rick Perry declared Nueces County a disaster area as more storms loomed over the weekend.

The National Weather Service said heavy rain was likely over the weekend in Corpus Christi, a coastal city of 275,000 some 140 miles south of San Antonio.

Thursday's storm ripped throgh two subdivisions, and also tore the roofs off a supermarket, post office and fast food restaurant.

The city itself sustained damage, though how much was residential and how much was damage to infrastructure had yet to be determined Frida night. Emergency management teams were still assessing damages, and reported they were having difficulty making accurate assessments because of the ongoing rain.

Hurricane Kenna, which hit Mexico's Pacific coast Friday, was expected to swirl over the Corpus Christi area all weekend with heavy rain that could hamper tornado cleanup and cause additional flooding.

"We have extensive damage along the path of the tornado," said Mayor Lloyd Neal.

Steve Smart, a meteorologist, added, "The tornado overturned vehicles and caused extensive damage to buildings."

Flood damage was also reported in the area.

The National Weather Service was able to issue a warning 10 minutes before the tornado hit.

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