At least three people were reported dead and up to 100 others injured when a “horrific” tornado tore through a community in northern Texas on Thursday.
As deadly storms fuelled by high temperatures pounded the region, bringing tornadoes, thunderstorms, and hail the size of golf balls, several million Americans in many southern and midwestern states were under severe weather alerts.
Tornadoes, violent thunderstorms, and flash floods threatened parts of Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Florida.
On Thursday evening, a powerful tornado struck Perryton, a hamlet of about 8,000 people in the Texas Panhandle. Storm-chasing drone video captured multiple structures, including mobile homes, demolished or damaged, uprooted trees, and vehicles flipped over.
According to Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher, 100 patients with mild to severe injuries were treated at nearby hospitals, and three deaths were verified. According to him, some patients were taken to trauma hospitals.
One of the areas that received a direct hit, according to Dutcher, was a nearby trailer park.
Governor Greg Abbott stated in a statement that “Texas is swiftly deploying critical emergency response resources to provide all necessary support and assistance to protect Texans and help those impacted by tornadoes in Perryton,” including teams for search and rescue, medical personnel, and crews working to restore electricity and water service.
Stay safe, Texas. “I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me in prayer for our fellow Texans affected by this terrible storm.
Representative Four Price, a state member, posted on Facebook that “many structures are damaged” and that “the state is engaging additional medical help to triage ER.”
“This is a serious situation,” he continued.
Drone footage taken above Perryton by storm chaser Brian Emfinger revealed “significant damage,” especially in the town’s industrial area.
Emfinger told Fox Weather’s YouTube channel: “Unfortunately, northwest of there, there is just mobile home after mobile home after mobile home that is just destroyed. There is significant damage.”
According to the National Weather Service, Dallas, a city of 1.2 million people, and other areas of north and central Texas were under a tornado watch.
According to NWS, the significant hazards are large hail and damaging wind gusts, although a tornado or two can’t be ruled out.