Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Lubbock called the combination of tumultuous weather “certainly rare.” A supercell developed near Amarillo and swept across the state, from the Panhandle to Houston.
The storm’s deadliest effects were concentrated in the small town of Matador, where a 1-mile stretch of businesses and homes were demolished in a timeframe of just two minutes. Dozens were injured and at least four people died.
Brandon Moore, water superintendent and volunteer firefighter, said the city is receiving help from people coming in from outside of the community.
Hurricane-force winds of 109 mph were recorded in Jayton, and hail measured at more than 4 inches in diameter.
The strongest wind gust ever recorded at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, 97 mph, was also attributed to the storm. North of the city, widespread wind damage was reported, including downed trees, toppled fences, and snapped power lines.
Search and rescue efforts are still in operation, although no one is believed to be missing. So far, the extent of damage appears to be the most severe in Matador, with homes destroyed and businesses reduced to rubble.
Other parts of the region are in a blackout, with over 900 customers without power in the Matador and Jayton areas, and over 133,000 customers experiencing outages in Houston.
The twister outbreak follows six days after a tornado in the northern Texas Panhandle killed three and injured over one hundred. Another violent hailstorm hit concertgoers Wednesday evening in Morrison, Colorado, sending seven people to the hospital and up to ninety people to receive treatment.
The National Weather Service has dispatched crews to survey the damage and determine the strength of the tornadoes, as the Lone Star State recovers from the effects of this exceptionally unusual storm combo.
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