Devastating tornado tears through Texas town, three dead, more than 50 injured


(NEW YORK) — A destructive tornado ripped through Perryton, Texas, Thursday evening, leaving at least three people dead, two missing and 56 injured, according to the The Ochiltree County Sherriff’s Office.

Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher said the number of injured may be around 100 people. The injuries range from minor to severe and multiple patients have be transferred to trauma centers, Dutcher said.

The north and east sides of the small town saw significant damage, with trailer houses destroyed and communication towers downed, Dutcher told ABC News. One fatality has been confirmed and more than 75 people were being treated at the local hospital, he said.

Dutcher said that the confirmed death is from a trailer home and multiple agencies are on scene responding to the tornado.

There is currently no power to Perryton, Xcel Energy told ABC News.

“Our crews are arriving on site and are assisting in removing lines from cars and across the roads. We are patrolling the transmission feeds into the city and also assessing possible damage at the main substation in town. One of the three main transmission feeds into the city was apparently undamaged, but we deenergized it for safety reasons,” Xcel Energy said in a statement.

Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to deploy state emergency response resources to meet urgent life-safety needs in Perryton.

“The State of 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,” Abbott said in a statement. “I encourage all Texans to heed the guidance of state and local officials and to take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves and your loved ones. We remain ready to quickly provide any additional resources needed over the course of this severe weather event.”

Ochiltree General Hospital, the area hospital, is currently without power, an official said Thursday evening.

Debbie Beck, CFO of Ochiltree General Hospital, confirmed to ABC News that they have treated 50 to 100 patients related to tornado injuries.

Beck said that the hospital was out of power, and they don’t have an exact number of patients from the tornado as they are doing paperwork manually. No victims died at the hospital and some patients were transferred to Northwest Texas Hospital, according to Beck.

There have been seven reported tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan as of Thursday evening.

Severe thunderstorm watches have been issued in Brunswick, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.

Georgia and Alabama are also getting slammed with heavy rain and flooding. More than 7 inches of rain hit Albany, Georgia, over the last 24 hours.

This comes after Wednesday storms brought massive hail and powerful winds to Mississippi and at least 10 reported tornadoes to Texas, Alabama and Georgia.

The Plains are also bracing for rough weather, with a severe thunderstorm watch issued in parts of southeastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas. Residents in the region should expect dangerous winds up to 80 mph, hail up to 4 inches in diameter and possible tornadoes.

More storms are expected Friday from Colorado to the Gulf Coast, with damaging winds and hail the main threat. Severe storms are also possible Friday afternoon and evening from Virginia to New Jersey.

Meanwhile, dangerous, triple-digit heat is baking the South. Record-high temperatures are possible over the next few days in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and New Orleans.

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