Sweetwater tornado 32 years later

By: 
STACY FRITZ
Staff Writer

The headlines read “One Dead, 90 Injured at Sweetwater : Texas Tornadoes Level 600 Homes.” Thirty-two years ago two tornadoes shredded part of this West Texas city early Saturday before alarms could be sounded, killing at least one person, injuring more than 90 others and destroying hundreds of homes.
"There's debris everywhere. The windows are out, buildings are torn down, houses have some of the roofs off them," Nolan County Sheriff James Blackley said at the time.
More than 100 National Guardsmen and sheriff's officers on horseback patrolled the community to stem sporadic looting that began shortly after the tornadoes struck, officials said. No arrests had been made.
About 600 homes were destroyed and 200 others damaged, said Mayor Rick Rhodes, who added that more than 2,000 of the city's 12,000 residents had been affected.
Rhodes imposed a 7:30 p.m. curfew Saturday in the damaged area. Gov. Mark White was scheduled to tour the town the following day.
The damaged area included a mobile home park, a senior citizens' housing project and a subdivision. Lumber companies opened to help residents board up shattered windows, officials said.
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