Tornadoes and Severe Weather Hit Central Texas

Tornadoes and Severe Weather Hit Central Texas
Tornado touching down in a field. | Image from Getty Images

According to the National Weather Service, at least two tornadoes touched down Tuesday night in Central Texas. The area was also pummelled by heavy rain, flash flooding, and large hail. 

In Salado, a city in Bell County roughly 50 miles south of Waco, a tornado took down power lines, uprooted trees, tossed mobile homes in the air, and damaged or destroyed several buildings.

In a Wednesday afternoon news conference, Bell County Judge David Blackburn said that the city began receiving reports of a tornado sighting around 5:40 p.m. on April 12, after it crossed into Salado from neighboring Williamson County.

It was categorized as an EF-3, with 165 mph winds. The destruction path was about 8 miles long and a quarter of a mile wide.

Salado officials said search and rescue crews conducted multiple walkthroughs Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, and they believe they have accounted for everyone in the neighborhood. 

According to Blackburn, the twister destroyed sixty-one homes and two churches and injured twenty-three people. He also expressed gratitude that no one had been killed despite injuries and property damage.

The Williamson County Office of Emergency Management reported that county deputies spotted “two separate possible tornadoes.” County officials said that fifteen structures in Williamson County sustained damage during the severe weather outbreak. 

National Weather Service Meteorologist Biance Garcia confirmed a total of two tornadoes in the Central Texas area, with the second one touching down east of Temple, near Seaton, at approximately the same time as the first tornado. She stated that the National Weather Service was still tracking the path and assessing the damage caused by the second tornado. 

By the following morning, the severe weather had moved north and east. According to County Emergency Manager Ray Sallee, an EF-1 tornado struck Adair County, Oklahoma, on Wednesday morning, downing trees and knocking out power.

“We lost power in about 75-80% of our homes and businesses, but most of that power has been restored,” Sallee told CNN, adding that the storm caused two minor injuries.

The tornado struck just north of Stilwell in Adair County, some 100 miles east of Tulsa and not far from the Arkansas state line, at roughly 9 a.m. The National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF-1 tornado with a path length of 6.5 miles and estimated 95-105 mph peak winds.

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