Image: Cactus, Texas
Henry Bargas  /  Amarillo Globe-News
Aerial view of Cactus, Texas, after a violent storm late Saturday.
updated 4/23/2007 10:08:25 PM ET 2007-04-24T02:08:25

Fifty people left unaccounted for after a tornado destroyed homes in this Texas Panhandle town have been located and appear to be safe, an official said Monday.

Moore County Judge Rowdy Rhoades said the 50 residents likely evacuated after hearing tornado sirens go off through the poor, mostly rural community of 2,500.

Buildings were flattened, power was knocked out to thousands and debris was scattered for miles after the tornado touched down late Saturday. Fourteen people were injured, one critically.

"Everything's gone for a lot of people," Rhoades said.

The tornado was three-quarters of a mile wide and tore across 25 miles of ground, including Cactus, said Steve Drillette, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Amarillo.

Xcel Energy spokesman Wes Reeves said the utility restored power to its plant Monday. However, most Cactus residents were expected to be without electricity through Monday, he said.

About 110 miles south, at least a dozen businesses and as many houses were destroyed in Tulia, another town hard-hit by Saturday's powerful storms, police have said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments