A tornado smashed through the center of a small north-central Ohio town yesterday afternoon, uprooting trees, crushing cars and tearing the roofs off buildings. Three people, including one infant, were killed and at least 53 others injured, officials in Cardington, Ohio, said.

Every store in the nine-block downtown area sustained damage as the twister ripped through Cardington.

John Harbough, a supervisor at Morrow County Hospital in nearby Mount Gilead, said, "Donald William Carson, 9 months, died during treatment." Identification of the other two bodies was withheld pending notification of relatives.

Gov. James A. Rhodes called out state National Guardsmen to secure the area and traveled to the town of about 2,000 with the head of the state disaster services agency.

Betty Whaley, a Cardington resident who was in a local diner with her husband, Raymond, said, "Somebody hollered 'hit the floor!' when the tornado touched down short after 3 p.m.

"And we hit the floor, By that time, mud hit the restaurant windows and we couldn't see anything. It lasted a minute or two. We came out and you wouldn't believe the town -- everything is gone. The whole town was gone."

As heavy thunderstorms swept through Central Texas, rivers and creeks spilled over their banks for the third straight day, closing highways.

A Houston man, Billy McFerrin, 45, drowned when a pickup washed into Bedias Creek in Madison County.

Austin and San Marcos appeared to bear the brunt of the storm, which dumped as much as 6 inches on some areas. Interstate 35 between San Marcos and New Braunfels was closed because of high water.

In Austin, as many as 150 families were forced into emergency shelters.