‘God’s going to help us get through all of this.’ A 165 mph tornado causes widespread devastation in Texas community

Nearly everything she owned was packed up in storage units in anticipation of an upcoming move and the tornado left it all scattered.

On her hunt through the debris, she found some sentimental pieces.

“I have found quite a few treasures,” Hughes told the news outlet. “Pictures of my kids when they are babies, and I found the little necklace I gave my daughter when she went to college, so it’s been great finds.”

The EF-3 tornado that touched down in Bell County Tuesday is one of 13 reported twisters across several states, including Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota, according to preliminary data from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC).
Tornado that injured 23 in Texas was an EF-3 with 165 mph winds, National Weather Service says

In Texas, the powerful tornado in Bell County — northeast of Austin — injured 23 people and damaged 61 homes and two churches, County Judge David Blackburn said Wednesday during a news conference. Twelve of those injured were hospitalized, he added.

The devastating tornado flattened buildings and pulled trees up from their roots. It traveled about 13 miles through Bell County in about 30 minutes, the NWS in Fort Worth said.
First Cedar Valley Baptist Church in Bell County is among the buildings that were heavily damaged just days before Easter, CNN affiliate KEYE reported.

“In spite of the devastation that we see, the big cross that we have as we enter the building is still there,” Pastor Donnie Jackson told the news outlet.

“It is devastating, but God’s going to help us get through all of this,” his wife, Linda, said.

Jackson and his wife, along with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, sought shelter during the storm in a closet in their home near the church.

“We could hear it. It sounded awful. We could hear all the noise, did not have a clue of where it was, but we knew it was mighty close,” the pastor recalled. The family made it through unscathed, Linda Jackson said.

Michelle Light salvages belongings from her home near Salado, Texas, on Wednesday, a day after a tornado destroyed the house.

Farther north in Oklahoma, an EF-1 tornado touched down in Adair County Wednesday morning, pulling down trees and cutting electricity, according to Ray Sallee, the county’s emergency manager. Multiple structures were and homes were damaged, and a gas station was destroyed, he added.

“We lost power in about 75-80 percent of our homes and businesses, but most of that power has been restored,” said Sallee, adding there were two minor injuries related to the storm.

The tornado brought peak winds up to 95-105 mph and ran for about 6.5 miles just north of Stilwell in Adair County, about 100 miles east of Tulsa.

The central US region has seen multiple rounds severe weather this week, which brought a mix of conditions including, tornadoes, strong winds, severe thunderstorms and heavy snow across several states.

In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation Wednesday for seven counties following a day of severe weather that delivered damaging winds, tornadoes and flash flooding. The proclamation allows state resources to be used in response to severe weather that occurred in Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Humboldt, Mitchell, Pocahontas, Winneshiek and Worth counties Tuesday, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Threat of severe weather shifts east

As the storm system moves east it will weaken but more than 27 million people will remain under a slight risk (level 2 of 5) threat of severe weather Thursday.

That area includes the cities of New York, Philadelphia and Newark and Jersey City in New Jersey.

Overall, more than 67 million people stretching from Panama City, Florida, to Vermont and New Hampshire are under some sort of severe weather threat, CNN Meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.

The Storm Prediction Center issued a severe thunderstorm watch for portions of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle that’s effective through early Thursday morning.

Damaging winds up to 70 mph are possible as well as one or two tornadoes.

Meanwhile, New Orleans is under a flood watch also through Thursday morning, when up to 4 inches of rail may fall.

“The southern parts of Louisiana actually really need the rainfall since they were under drought conditions,” Shackelford said.

CNN’s Caitlin Kaiser, Amy Simonson, Robert Shackelford, Dave Alsup and Amir Vera contributed to this report.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: The Bloggers Briefing