Powerful storm system wallops Texas; tornado watch issued

Officials said that one person was killed and over a dozen were hurt when tornadoes ripped through Texas and Oklahoma.

Powerful storm system wallops Texas; tornado watch issued

The storms also damaged homes, schools, and businesses. On Tuesday, the same storm system was expected to move into Louisiana or Mississippi. It carries the risk of powerful winds and dangerous tornadoes.

Texas: There were several tornadoes reported Monday on the Interstate 35 corridor in Texas. They were particularly prevalent in Round Rock and Elgin and near Dallas-Fort Worth. Two tornadoes that were not confirmed caused severe damage in the Lake Texoma region of northern Texas and southern Oklahoma.

J.D. Harkins, 59, from Elgin, said that he saw one tornado pass his house, and that he hadn’t seen a twister this powerful in the area since 1980.

Harkins stated, "There used to have a barn there," pointing out an empty parcel on his uncle’s property that was covered in scattered debris. Harkins said that the building was unoccupied when the tornado struck and that his family was thankful no one was injured.

Harkins stated, "It was clear, well defined," and added that the tornado was quickly followed by another one. "And then one went down and another one went up."

The tornadoes occurred on a Texas wild weather day. Wildfires erupted in the west, and a blizzard alert was issued for Texas Panhandle. Up to 9 inches (23 cmimeters) of snow fell in that area.

According to the county's emergency management officer, more than a dozen injuries were reported in Texas. Officials have not given any details about the death of a 73-year old woman from Sherwood Shores who was killed in the storm.

According to Jeremy Grams (lead forecaster at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma), the system had brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to Texas and Arkansas by Tuesday morning. For parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, a tornado watch was in place.

Authorities in Louisiana stated that high water Tuesday morning posed a danger to motorists on many roads in Louisiana. This included a section of Interstate 20 and several state highways following overnight rains. Three drivers were rescued by Caddo Parish sheriffs, which also includes Shreveport.

As temperatures rise, the storms are expected to intensify, increasing the risk of hail, tornadoes and strong winds. The Storm Prediction Center issued a second-highest category of risk Tuesday: Mississippi and Louisiana were both at moderate risk for severe weather. Bad weather was possible in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Jackson, Mississippi on Tuesday.

Grams stated Tuesday morning that "we're still uncertain about how intense or long-lasting some of these tornadoes might be. So we're going just below the threshold of greatest risk."

Forecasters predicted severe tornadoes and widespread destructive winds. Some hurricane-force winds were forecast for much of Mississippi, southern Louisiana and western Alabama.

Louisiana's federal authorities and state authorities reminded thousands who survived hurricanes in their government-provided mobile homes or recreational vehicle trailers that they should have an evacuation plan, as the structures may not be able to withstand the weather. Officials said that more than 8,000 people live in these temporary housing units.

Texas was already suffering from the effects of the storm. According to Storm Prediction Center reports, damage to homes and businesses was reported in at least 12 Texas counties.

Officials reported extensive damage to Jacksboro, which is located approximately 60 miles (100 km) north of Fort Worth. Photos posted to social media showed that a storm had ripped through the roof and wall of Jacksboro High school, including its gym.

Starla Sanders, principal of Starla School in Dallas, said that it brought tears to her eyes.

The damage was extensive to the area of Jacksboro, which is approximately 50 kilometers northeast. Kelly McNabb, Emergency Manager, stated that four people sustained minor injuries.


 

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