At least three people were killed, two are still missing after a tornado roared across Texas, and dozens more were injured. In the Panhandle of Texas, Perryton was hit by devastating storms on Thursday, knocking down communications towers and damaging mobile homes.
There were reports of people missing in the wreckage, and thousands of homes and a significant hospital were left without power, so Governor Greg Abbott dispatched emergency response resources from the state to help the devastated town.
Three individuals have been confirmed killed in Perryton due to the storm, according to Fire Chief Paul Dutcher. He said a tornado “directly hit” the mobile home park where one of the victims lived.
At least 30 trailers were either demolished or damaged, and rescuers are still combing the wreckage for survivors. The police chief estimated that 100 individuals were hurt in the storm. Their injuries ranged from mild to severe, and several were taken to trauma clinics.
A tornado did indeed strike the area on Thursday afternoon, as confirmed by the National Weather Service in Amarillo; however, details on the tornado’s magnitude and wind speeds were not immediately available.
The Texas panhandle town of Perryton was struck by one or more tornadoes, causing fatalities, the mayor said, as images from the ground showed much of the town left in rubble by the twister and emergency crews searched for survivors https://t.co/OJocMHHnsn pic.twitter.com/wtbv3PJVfl
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 16, 2023
More than 8,000 people live there, and it’s located approximately 115 miles (185 kilometres) northeast of Amarillo, just south of the Oklahoma state line. Hence, first responders from around the region and Oklahoma came to aid.
According to Emergency Manager Keith Shadden of Beaver County, Oklahoma, fire, police, and EMS units from Beaver County were dispatched across the state line to Perryton.
When the weather improves, he continued, they will send more help. The cities of Stinnett, Texas, Borger, Texas, Booker, Texas, and Fritch, Texas, as well as the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office, have all pitched in to help.
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Brian Emfinger, a storm chaser, told Fox Weather that he saw the twister smash trailers and destroy trees at a mobile home park. The tornado quite severely damaged the industrial section of town, he said.
Just west of there, sadly, you can see mobile home after mobile home that has been utterly demolished. There’s been a lot of destruction. As of 3:30 a.m. CT on Friday, the poweroutage.us website reported that more than 224,000 Texans were without electricity.
Ochiltree County, where Perryton is located, had 91% of its customers without power (8,910 out of 9,775). Late Thursday night, Xcel Energy reported to ABC News that Perryton was without electricity.
Our teams have arrived and are helping clear the roads and vehicles of downed power lines. Xcel Energy said in a statement that it is “patrolling the transmission feeds into the city and assessing possible damage at the main substation in town.”
We de-energized one of the city’s three primary transmission feeds even though it appeared unharmed. The municipality will get disaster response resources from the state’s Division of Disaster Management, as stated by Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday. These resources will help with water restoration and traffic management, among other things.