Tornado Rips Through East Texas Town of Tatum - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/6/03 - Tatum

Tornado Rips Through East Texas Town of Tatum

It was a terrifying experience for people in Rusk County as witnesses watched twisters rumble through the area Sunday leaving many homeless and injuring several people.

Some of the worst damage happened just after noon on FM 2187 near Highway 149 in the East Texas town of Tatum.

Witnesses say trees were snapped like match-sticks. Dozens of homes were damaged, at least 6 totally destroyed, in a 3 mile stretch of farm road 2187 near Tatum as tornados crashed through the area.

3 people were hospitalized with minor injuries, and 6 people are still listed as missing.  Police and fire crews had to rescue numerous homeowners trapped in demolished homes. Whirling debris and tree limbs became projectiles, as many people narrowly escaped injury.  Some were caught in their cars with the tornado in their rear view mirror. One trailer home was lifted and carried 100 feet, then smashed into pieces and a witness said a man inside got up out of the rubble and walked away.

Many lost everything, but are just glad to be alive.

Bob Hallmark reporting

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