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Tornado kills one, injures six

An unidentified man crosses a flooded street near downtown Corpus Christi, Texas.

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CNN) -- A tornado touched down Thursday near the campus of Del Mar College, leaving one person dead and at least six injured, a college spokeswoman said.

Officials had little warning. "By the time we knew it was coming, it was already on the ground," said Ken Bung, assistant chief of the Corpus Christi Police Department.

The National Weather Service put out a warning about 10 minutes before the tornado hit.

"Ten minutes is pretty good," said meteorological technician Steve Smart. "The way that tornadoes work, they're very difficult to predict. We use Doppler radar to detect tornadic activity. The only way to confirm a tornado is present is to have it actually sighted."

The National Weather Service put out severe storm warnings for the area beginning Wednesday.

The tornado touched down near the west campus of Del Mar College and moved across it in a north-northeast direction, Smart said. The tornado overturned vehicles and caused extensive damage to buildings, he said.

One building collapsed, killing a man, Bung said. The college did not release information about the man who died.

Afterward, heavy rain continued to pound the Corpus Christi area, and officials said they would not know the full extent of the damage caused by the tornado until the weather improved.

Tornadoes are classified on a scale from zero to five. The National Weather service said once the damage is assessed officials will determine the scale of this tornado.

Bung said he could not remember another tornado hitting Corpus Christi in his 42 years with the police department.

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