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Friday, June 21, 2024

Texas tornado kills 1, hospitalizes 10 while damaging homes and knocking out power

At least one person was killed and multiple people were injured after an EF-1 tornado tore through a Texas town on the Gulf Coast. 

The National Weather Service’s office in Brownsville tweeted that, the twister had wind speeds of around 86-105 miles per hour. 

It struck Laguna Heights early Saturday morning between 4:01 a.m. and 4:06 a.m. local time. 

The tornado damaged homes and knocked out power. 

EARLY HEAT WAVE IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST COULD BREAK RECORDS

Highways were impacted by the tornado

Highways were impacted by the tornado, with crews working to clear debris and restore power. (My Port Isabel/Facebook)

Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Hushen told The Associated Press that at least 10 people were hospitalized, with two in critical condition. There were also several minor injuries.

He noted that the tornado had “caused significant damage to residences,” with “40-60 damaged homes.” Some of those homes were damaged heavily.

Texas Department of Transportation crews

Texas Department of Transportation crews worked to remove debris from the roadway. (@TxDOTPharr/Twitter)

The Cameron County Emergency Management & Fire Marshal Service said on Facebook late Saturday that multiple agencies were assisting the community. 

Highway 100 was closed in an area as crews worked to clear debris and downed power lines. 

“If you need to get to [Port Isabel] you will need to re route thru 48,” the Town of Laguna Vista said on its own Facebook page. 

Fire and police assist Laguna Heights

Multiple agencies are assisting Laguna Heights. (Cameron County Emergency Management & Fire Marshal Service/Facebook)

TORNADOES TEAR THROUGH PLAINS STATES, DAMAGING BUILDINGS

Laguna Heights is the community between the city of Port Isabel and Laguna Vista on Highway 100. 

Later, the Pharr District Texas Department of Transportation tweeted on eastbound and one westbound lane of Highway 100 had re-opened to traffic between Laguna Heights and Highway 48.

A closure sign on Highway 100

One eastbound lane and one westbound lane of Highway 100 have re-opened to traffic. (@TxDOTPharr/Twitter)

The Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center is open for shelter and the Salvation Army, Red Cross and Cameron County Emergency Management are on hand to assist people who need it.

Port Isabel said that the Valley Regional Medical Center would set up a triage center for walking wounded. 

A South Padre Island fire truck

A South Padre Island fire truck responded to the emergency. (Cameron County Emergency Management & Fire Marshal Service/Facebook)

“One confirmed fatality, 10 transported, with search and rescue ongoing. Updates will be posted as they become available,” it said, noting that this was the fourth weather event in the Laguna Madrea area in as many weeks.

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“We NEED a tornado siren here in LV,” one user wrote on the Laguna Vista page. 

This storm follows severe weather and dozens of tornadoes seen in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado that caused damage but no reported deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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