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Fort Worth reeling after tornadoes

BY STEVE GUST | FORT WORTH | March 30, 2000

FORT WORTH (March 30, 2000) -- Residents are still in shock over

deadly tornadoes that raked the business district toward the end of

rush-hour Tuesday evening.

Emergency management officials are still assessing damages after hours of

searching for victims. Two tornadoes claimed four lives and injured more

than 100. One hit the heart of the downtown district, and the other

ripped a path of destruction through the Arlington neighborhood.

Broken glass and debris continue to present a hazard.

Church World Service (CWS) is working with Fort Worth's religious leaders to

plan a long-term, faith-based response. Individual congregations are

already planning to offer pastoral care for tornado survivors.

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) also has been in contact with

local congregations.

Emergency crews are still assessing damage left by the twisters.

"This is basically an urban storm," said Norm Hein, CWS disaster resource

facilitator for the area, who noted that utility interruptions were

making it difficult to develop an early assessment of the extent of

the disaster in residential areas.

Hein said damage has also been reported from nearby Arlington and

Grand Prairie.

Catholic Charities is also keeping in close contact with local

congregations. "Right now we're in contact with our national office and

the Texas Catholic Conference," said Karen Spicer of the Fort Worth

Archdiocese of Catholic Charities. "Father Jim Miller in Arlington has

told us today there has been damage there."

Updated March 30, 2000

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