Tornadoes rip through Northeast Texas, dozens injured
Officials confirm EF3 tornado hit Lamar County during Friday’s severe storms.
Updated Nov. 7, 8:30 a.m.
Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms roared across Northeast Texas on Friday. Many homes were destroyed and dozens of people were injured. Two deaths were attributed to the tornadoes: one in Moriss County, Texas; and one in McCurtain County, Oklahoma.
Powderly, other Lamar County communities suffer injuries, damage
On Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed that the tornado that struck western Lamar County rated as an EF3 tornado. The storm passed through Hopewell, Caviness, Beaver Creek, and Powderly just after 4 p.m. The Lamar County Sheriff’s Office reported Paris Regional Medical Center treated 10 people for storm-related injuries Friday night, with two of those patients in critical but stable condition. About 50 homes in the county were damaged or destroyed, the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office said.
A Red Cross shelter has been established at the Lamar Avenue Church of Christ, located at 3535 Lamar. Ave. in Paris. Lamar County Judge Brandon Bell has declared an official disaster in the county and said “at least two dozen” people in Lamar County were injured during the storms.
The Paris News reports that homes and buildings along County Road 35940, west of State Highway 271, suffered major damage. Powderly Volunteer Fire Department Chief Randi Johnson told The Paris news that neighborhoods from Gate 2 Road to 906 West and near Arthur City received major damage.
In Powderly, Gospel Lighthouse Pentecostal Church of God Pastor Chris Kelly said his church is open for those without shelter or electricity. The church is located at 7600 U.S. Hwy. 71.
City of Paris officials have asked residents to conserve water this weekend, as a precautionary measure.
National Weather Service storm survey teams were dispatched to Lamar County as well as Henderson County on Saturday. A team is scheduled to survey Hopkins County on Sunday, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Homes destroyed in Hopkins County
In Hopkins County, KSST-FM reports at least three homes were destroyed when a tornado touched down southwest of Sulphur Springs, near the intersection of FM 1567 and FM 3389. David and Mary Talley told DFW-area media how they rode out the storm in their pickup truck, even as their house was destroyed. David Talley was cut by glass, but no major injuries were reported in Hopkins County, KSST reported.
Residents of the areas around Miller Grove, in Hopkins County, and Point, in Rains County, posted pictures of funnel clouds in those areas from the same storm system.
Region-wide tornadic system leaves 2 dead in Texas and Oklahoma
The tornadoes were part of a massive front that swept over Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas Saturday afternoon and evening.
In Oklahoma, McCurtain County officials confirmed one death as a result of an EF3 tornado that began near Clarksville before crossing the Red River into Oklahoma.
"There was total destruction on the south and east sides of Idabel," Steven Carter, an emergency management coordinator for McCurtain County, told the Texarkana Gazette.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said search-and-rescue teams and generators were being sent to the Idabel area.
"Praying for Oklahomans impacted by today's tornadoes," Stitt tweeted.
One person died in Morris County, Texas, as a result of an EF2 tornado. The National Weather Service office in Shreveport reported seven tornadoes in the Ark-La-Tex region alone. Elsewhere around Texas: Camp, Bowie, Cass and Henderson counties all recorded tornadoes. Surveys are also ongoing in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The tornadic storms resulted from a clash between warm, wet air from the south and cool, dry air from the northwest. The Texas A&M Forest Service has sent response crews to Lamar, Bowie, Cass, Red River, and Morris counties, the agency said.
Texans are asked to report damage using the tool at damage.tdem.texas.gov.