Powerful storm system hits Texas; tornado watch issued


DALLAS (AP) — One person was killed and more than a dozen were injured when tornadoes ripped through parts of Texas and Oklahoma, damaging a school, homes and businesses, officials said. The same storm system was poised to move into Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday, bringing the risk of dangerous tornadoes and strong winds.

In Texas, multiple tornadoes were reported Monday along the Interstate 35 corridor, including the Austin suburbs of Round Rock and Elgin, and near Dallas-Fort Worth. Two unconfirmed tornadoes caused damage in the Lake Texoma area of ​​northern Texas and southern Oklahoma.

More than a dozen injuries have been reported in Texas, including 10 in Grayson County, about 95 miles north of Dallas, the county’s emergency management office said. A 73-year-old woman who lived in the community of Sherwood Shores died in the storm, but authorities did not provide details.

As of Tuesday morning, the system was bringing heavy rain and thunderstorms to parts of Texas and Arkansas, said Jeremy Grams, chief forecaster at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. A tornado watch was in effect for parts of Texas and Louisiana.

In Louisiana, high water on Tuesday morning posed a threat to motorists on several roads, including a stretch of Interstate 20 and several state highways after overnight rains, authorities said. Deputies from Caddo Parish, which includes Shreveport, rescued three drivers from high water overnight, the predawn sheriff’s office tweeted.

Storms were expected to intensify throughout the day as temperatures rise, increasing the threat of tornadoes, hail and high winds. Much of Louisiana and Mississippi were at moderate risk of severe weather Tuesday, the second-highest risk category released by the Storm Prediction Center. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi, were among the cities at risk of bad weather on Tuesday.

“We’re still a bit uncertain about the intensity and lifespan of some of these tornadoes, so we’re going to be just below that threshold of greatest risk,” Grams said Tuesday morning.

Forecasters predicted intense tornadoes and widespread damaging winds, hurricane strength with speeds of 75 mph (120 km/h) or more, across much of Mississippi, southern and eastern Louisiana and of western Alabama.

Federal and state authorities in Louisiana have reminded thousands of hurricane survivors living in government-provided mobile homes and RV trailers to have an evacuation plan as the structures may not hold up to the expected weather conditions. More than 8,000 households live in these temporary accommodations, officials said.

The storm has already left misery in its wake in Texas. Damage to homes and businesses occurred in at least a dozen Texas counties, according to reports submitted to the Storm Prediction Center.

Authorities reported damage across Jacksboro, about 100 miles northwest of Fort Worth. There, photographs posted to social media showed a storm ripping the wall and roof off parts of Jacksboro High School, particularly its gym.

“It brought tears to my eyes,” school principal Starla Sanders told WFAA-TV in Dallas.

30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Jacksboro, near Bowie, the damage was extensive. Four people were slightly injured, emergency manager Kelly McNabb said.


Associated Press reporters Julie Walker in New York and Ken Miller in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

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