Texas tornado: A tornado hit the town of the Panhandle, Texas, on Thursday afternoon, nearly collapsing some buildings and causing power outages, killing at least three people and hospitalizing dozens.
Perryton, Texas tornado
Fire Chief Paul Dutcher told CNN’s Alisin Camerota that two of the deaths occurred in Perryton’s downtown business district and the other died at a trailer park in the northeast part of the city.
Ochiltree General Hospital interim CEO Kelly Judith told CNN Thursday that between 75 and 100 people were hospitalized due to the storm.
Dutcher said the aftermath damaged homes and businesses in the town of about 8,000 people, including the local fire and ambulance service and several mobile homes. “The fire chief stated, “Several of our trucks are quite seriously damaged.
Power plants in the city have also been shut down for safety reasons, according to Excel Energy.
“The power lines that supply power to the city were damaged and many low-voltage distribution lines in the city failed,” said Wes Reeves, a spokesman for Excel Energy.
“An estimated recovery time is not yet known,” he added. As of 1 a.m. in Connecticut, more than 200,000 homes and businesses in Texas were in darkness, according to tracking website Poweroutage.us.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office has committed state emergency resources to “response to urgent life and safety needs in Perryton, Texas,” according to a press release.
“We stand ready to rapidly deploy the additional resources needed during this severe weather event,” the governor said in a statement.
Resources from the neighborhood flowed into the city to offer urgently required aid. County emergency manager Keith Shaden said officials in Beaver County, Oklahoma, sent firefighters, law enforcement, and emergency responders to help.
Authorities in the neighboring town of Stinnett, Texas, have also started dispatching police officers and paramedics. The Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Department, which includes Stinnett, also dispatched rescuers and first responders after the “devastating tornado,” the department said in a Facebook post.
Medical assistance also arrived from staff at nearby hospitals, and up to 100 people were treated immediately after the tornado, Judith said.
“Some people brought patients to the hospital, but most of the staff stayed here and worked,” she added. The National Weather Service said two tornadoes were reported in Texas, four in Oklahoma, and one in Michigan on Thursday, with the Perryton tornado being the largest.
Today people have lost everything
The NWS-confirmed texas tornado tore through part of Perryton’s main area.
“It hit residential areas, downtowns, and industries,” storm tracker Brian Effinger told CNN.
Emfinger explained that the worst damage he saw was in the northwestern part of the city, where the tornado hit directly into an RV park it was in its path.
“The storm quickly formed a wall cloud that thickened quickly and quickly sank to the ground,” Emfinger added. In the northeastern part of the city, about 300 people are housed at Perryton High School due to heavy damage in the area, Cole Underwood, the school’s athletic director and football coach, told CNN.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have a list. … I think about what’s on hand, but people lost everything today.”
US Rep. Ronnie Jackson, representing Perryton, said the community needs it