At least 10 others were killed, more than 150 were injured and hundreds of buildings were leveled when powerful tornadoes tore through twin border cities in Texas and Mexico.
One of the tornadoes that struck the area has been categorized as an F2, meaning it changed landscapes – and lives – at up to 150 miles per hour, reports CBS News correspondent Hari Sreenivasan.
Rescue and recovery efforts resumed early Wednesday in Eagle Pass, Texas, and Piedras Negras, Mexico, after the tornadoes destroyed two empty elementary schools, a church, businesses and homes. Several mobile homes were missing.
The twister picked up one mobile home and slammed it into an elementary school Tuesday night, killing a family of five, Eagle Pass City Councilman Ramsey English Cantu said. Debris from the two buildings was indistinguishable early Wednesday.
Eagle Pass police Officer Ezekiel Navjas said he arrived at the wreckage of Rosita Valley Elementary School Tuesday night and was immediately handed the bloodied body of a 4- to 6-year-old girl.
"It was a whole family, and they were all together, probably like they were huddling," Navjas said. The mobile home held the girl, her parents and two other adult relatives.
Bricks from caved-in walls were scattered around the campus, broken water pipes were spewing water and the metal roof was violently twisted.
"You go by and you see the school areas and you can see where some of the kids' backpacks and stuff are literally outside, and it just hurts to see your community in such a way," Cantu said.
Everywhere around Eagle Pass, people said they cannot ever remember a time when a tornado hit this part of Texas, reports Drew Roesgen for CBS News.
Across the Rio Grande in Piedras Negras, three people were killed, 87 injured and 300 homes were damaged. About 1,000 people sought refuge in shelters. Three years ago, a tornado killed 32 in Piedras Negras.
"It's the worst I've seen," said Eagle Pass resident Ricardo Tijerina, who rode out the storm with his six children in a house near the school. Tijerina, 38, said he watched as the storm destroyed a mobile home across the street.
"It was pretty scary; I saw the trailer when it blew apart," said Tijerina, who said all the mobile home residents survived.
One of those killed died in a house, but few details were available, Cantu said. Another victim who was taken to a San Antonio hospital died Wednesday, according to Maverick County Judge Jose Aranda.
"Numerous homes in that area and businesses, small businesses, what we consider the mom and pop stores that have been in this community for years, a lot of them have been destroyed," Cantu said.
About 150 rescue workers, including Border Patrol and National Guardsmen deployed to help with border security, were searching the Eagle Pass area for survivors. Workers marked the homes with spray-painted "X's" to show they'd been searched. The symbols were similar to those used to mark thousands of New Orleans homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Navjas said he and other rescuers worked as long as they could Tuesday night. He finally went home for a couple hours of sleep after his flashlight went out at about 4 a.m.
"I really didn't want to leave," he said.
Officials said 76 people were taken to Fort Duncan Medical Center, Eagle Pass' only hospital. Four were admitted, four were transferred to hospitals in San Antonio and Del Rio in critical condition, 32 were treated and discharged and the rest were still being evaluated, he said.
"The hospital in the early stages was being overrun, but they had called in additional doctors and were able to take care of business," Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster said.
School was canceled Wednesday in Eagle Pass, a border city of about 26,000 about 150 miles southwest of San Antonio.
In northern Texas, streets flooded and roofs peeled off homes Tuesday afternoon, followed by another line of severe storms about six hours later. Tornado sirens rang in several counties, and drivers and residents were rescued from flooded cars and suburban neighborhoods.
In Denton County, heavy winds blew the metal roof off a restaurant and damaged several mobile homes and a commercial building under construction, said Roland Asebedo, assistant chief for Denton County's Emergency Services. No injuries were reported.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines had about 200 flights canceled because of weather in Dallas, spokesman Billy Sanez said. The airline also diverted about 80 flights bound for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to other airports, including San Antonio.
Ken Capps, vice president of public affairs at DFW airport, said the airport's flight control tower was temporarily evacuated Tuesday night but the airport remained open. Weather canceled 160 of about 950 departing flights Tuesday, and cots were provided for stranded passengers, airport officials said.