GRANBURY, Texas - Officials awaited daybreak to fully assess the scope of the destruction left in the wake of a deadly tornado in Granbury.
Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said he hoped the death toll from the tornado would hold at six, with about 50 people injured and 250 people left homeless.
The twister was part of a swarm of tornadoes unleashed on North Texas, devastating two neighborhoods in southern Granbury and a neighborhood in nearby Cleburne.
The National Weather Service said a tornado watch would remain in effect for more than 30 counties until early Thursday morning.
At Stumpy's Lakeside Grill in Lake Granbury, the storm took diners and workers by surprise.
"Some people rushed inside from the patio and ducked under tables as the wind gusts and hail started, but nobody was injured," said Eric Martinez, a cook.
The restaurant didn't appear to sustain any damage, but cars in the parking lot had dents from the large hail, he said.
"The boat docks just flew off, and they're actually gone," Martinez said, adding that the boards and other debris landed in some yards.
Donna Martin, the bartender at the VFW in Granbury, said she was watching the clouds circulate in the sky when the tornado sirens went off. She said softball-size hail also pounded the area.
Another tornado hit the small town of Millsap, about 40 miles west of Fort Worth. Parker County Judge Mark Kelley said roof damage was reported to several houses and a barn was destroyed, but no injuries were reported.
Hail as large as grapefruit also pelted the area around Mineral Wells on Wednesday evening. A police dispatcher reported only minor damage.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)