Deadly tornado hits Texas Panhandle town, leaving ‘complete devastation’

A tornado hit the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton on Thursday, killing three people and injuring dozens more, as a series of violent storms swept across the Southern states, causing widespread damage.

CBS Mobile, Alabama affiliate WKRG-TV also cited the Escambia Fire and Rescue Corps as having confirmed one death after a tree fell on a home during a storm off Cokerland, Pensacola. Flooding and power outages were reported in Pensacola.

The National Weather Service in Amarillo, Texas, confirmed a tornado hit the area on Thursday afternoon. But meteorologist Luigi Meccariello said it wasn’t immediately clear how big it would be or how fast the wind would be.

Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher told reporters that three people were killed in the storm.

At least one person was killed at a mobile home park that was “directly hit” by the tornado, he said. Dutcher said at least 30 trailers were damaged or destroyed. At 6 p.m., firefighters were rescuing people from the rubble.

First responders from the surrounding area and Oklahoma arrived in a town of more than 8,000 people about 115 miles northeast of Amarillo and just south of the Oklahoma border.

Alex Driggers, a reporter for the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, said: posted video He posted footage on social media of Perryton City Hall and the city’s fire department, which both appeared to have suffered extensive damage.

Stormchaser Brian Empinger told Fox Weather he saw the Twister ripping up trailers and uprooting trees as it moved through a mobile home park.

“I’ve seen tornadoes wreak pretty serious destruction on industrial areas in towns,” he said. “Unfortunately, just west of there, it’s just caravans, caravans, caravans that have been completely demolished. There’s a lot of damage.”

About 145,000 customers in Texas and Oklahoma were without power as of 1 a.m. EDT, according to the Times. website.

Ochiltree General Hospital in Perryton said on Facebook: “People who are walking or injured should go to the clinic. Everyone else should go to the hospital’s ER.”

The hospital also said an American Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Ochiltree County Expo Center.

The hospital’s interim CEO, Kelly Judith, said the hospital “was under fire” from patients.

“I’ve seen 50 to 100 patients so far,” Judith said, including about 10 in critical condition who were transferred to other hospitals. .

The patient had suffered mild to severe trauma, ranging from “head injuries to collapsed, lacerated and fractured lungs,” it said.

Tornado damage in Perryton, Texas
Tornado damage was seen in Perryton, Texas on June 15, 2023.

Sabrina Devers / WEATHER TRAKER / TMX

Chris Sample of local radio station KXDJ-FM said the station was running on auxiliary power.

“The whole city is out of power,” he said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday that he has directed the State Emergency Management Agency to help with everything from restricting traffic to restoring water supplies and other utilities, if needed.

By evening, the weather front had moved southeast across Oklahoma.

Texas and other southern states spanning Florida had heat advisories in place since Thursday, with temperatures expected to reach nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit through the June 11 holiday weekend. Temperatures were expected to reach as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

The storm system also brought hail and tornado potential to northwestern Ohio.

Barns were destroyed and trees felled in Sandusky County, Ohio, and power lines were cut north of Toledo, leaving thousands without power. The Bureau of Meteorology reported “severe thunderstorms that could cause tornadoes” over Bellevue, with storms showing “signs of rotation” elsewhere.

It was the second day in a row that a powerful storm hit the United States. On Wednesday, high winds knocked down trees, damaged buildings and blew cars away on a highway from East Texas to Georgia. Deadly tornado hits Texas Panhandle town, leaving ‘complete devastation’

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