Deadly tornado hits Texas coast amid statewide severe weather

·2 min read

Severe weather that led to torrential rainfall in Texas also spun up a tornado early Saturday morning, killing one person, according to officials.

The deadly tornado touched down in Laguna Heights, on the eastern coastline of Texas, around 4 a.m. local time Saturday.

Local emergency management officials had originally reported two fatalities, but Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. confirmed with CNN that one person died from the twister.

According to Treviño, the twister severely damage the person's mobile home, and "basically crushed" the individual.

At least 11 other people were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, Treviño said.

A damage assessment from the National Weather Service confirmed the rating of the twister as EF1, with estimated maximum wind speeds of 93 mph.

Port Isabel officials stated that multiple structures "sustained extensive damage," and damaged power lines caused outages in the area. Highway 100 in the area was blocked to all traffic during the afternoon hours Saturday.

Laguna Heights was put under a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Tuesday morning, with crews from multiple agencies on the scene assisting with recovery and cleanup. Organizations such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross were aiding with shelter needs for anyone unhoused due to the tornado. Treviño said that 38 people were taking temporary shelter at a location in Port Isabel.

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Texas has been dealing with a stalled storm with more rain and severe thunderstorms continuing into the weekend. Flash flood warnings were hoisted for an area between San Antonio and Victoria, Texas, midday Saturday as downpours plagued the region. The storm also gusted winds to 73 miles per hour in Doole, Texas.

"Despite how dry it has been across much of Texas, the rain can fall heavily enough over a short amount of time to cause flash flooding and rapid water rises on small streams, creeks and dangerous flooding on streets and highways," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski warned.

The Laguna Heights tornado was one of many that touched down last week, particularly in the Plains, where over a dozen tornadoes were reported on Thursday.

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