At least one person was killed early Saturday morning when a tornado hit a town on the Gulf Coast near the southernmost tip of Texas. The tornado damaged dozens of homes and knocked down power lines.
Tom Hushen, who is in charge of emergency management for Cameron County, said that at least 10 people were taken to the hospital, and two of them were in serious condition. At about 4 a.m., the storm hit the unincorporated town of Laguna Heights, which is close to South Padre Island.
Hushen said that there are “multiple minor injuries” like cuts and bruises. “The tornado did a lot of damage to homes,” he said. “We have between 40 and 60 damaged homes, and some of them are pretty bad,” Hushen said that officials from the National Weather Service at the scene have confirmed that it was a tornado and are now trying to figure out how fast and strong the winds were.
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“We don’t quite have wind speed yet because there’s not a sensor over there, to exactly measure it,” weather service meteorologist Angelica Soria said. “(Investigators) can assess how strong the winds were based on how far things were thrown or what kind of damage was done.”
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One killed as tornado hits south Texas town near the Gulf coasthttps://t.co/UFQeWwuSUE
— CBS Austin (@cbsaustin) May 13, 2023
The storm comes after dozens of tornadoes caused damage but no deaths in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.
“We did see some rotation on radar. So that’s what prompted a tornado warning,” Soria said.
The area is about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the U.S.-Mexico border at Brownsville. Tornadoes don’t happen there often, but Soria said there have been a lot of them this spring.
“We did have a tornado warning just north of this area a couple of weeks ago, but we were not able to confirm that tornado even though it was radar indicated,” Soria said.