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Texas tornado news: Shocking drone footage reveals scale of destruction in Perryton as victims named

Follow updates on the tornado which tore through small Texas town of Perryton

Rachel Sharp,Ariana Baio,Louise Boyle
Saturday 17 June 2023 18:05 BST
Texas tornado captured crossing through Perryton by locals

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Louise Thomas

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An 11-year-old boy was among three people killed by the massive tornado which tore through a Texas Panhandle town on Thursday.

Becky Randall, a woman in her 60s, was found in a print shop, and Cindy Bransgrove, a woman also in her 60s, was discovered in a food bank, Ochiltree County Sheriff Terry Bouchard said.

The body of an 11-year-old boy, Matthew Ramirez, was found in a trailer park.

The twister hit Perryton, a town of around 8,000 people close to the Oklahoma border, on Thursday around 5pm local time and left a mile-long trail of destruction, the National Weather Service reported.

A mobile home park took a “direct hit” from the tornado, Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher said. In addition to the fatalities, up to 100 people are being treated for injuries ranging from minor to severe.

More than 200,000 customers were without power in Texas on Friday afternoon, according to utility tracker In Ochiltree County, home to Perryton, 91 per cent of customers were cut off.

In a separate incident, one person died late on Thursday in the Florida Panhandle when a tornado ripped through Escambia County and downed a tree on a home, The Associated Press reported.


More severe weather forecast across the US on Juneteenth holiday weekend

Heavy rain, flash flooding and severe thunderstorms rolled across large parts of the US on Friday.

The National Weather Service warned of downpours and stormy conditions over the Central Plains this Juneteenth holiday weekend, with risk of extreme rainfall and severe thunderstorms over parts of eastern Colorado and western Kansas.

A complex of storms was moving up through the Northeast impacting parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York on Friday afternoon, with wind and hail the main hazards.

Severe weather will continue across the Plains, Gulf Coast and the Deep South on Saturday with large hail, damaging gusts and an isolated tornado possible.

Strong cells could gather strength in the central Gulf Coast on Saturday afternoon, causing wind damage and hail in coastal Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle before moving offshore.

Record heat will continue to blanket southern Texas in the coming days with highs in the 100Fs-110Fs, a 15-25 degree anomaly for this time of year over that area, NWS noted.

The threat of fire outbreaks is high in southeastern Arizona and New Mexico this weekend due to very dry and windy conditions.

Another low pressure system moving through the Northeast and Canada’s coastal areas will push wildfire smoke from dozens of wildfires north of the US border over the Midwest, Great Lakes and interior Northeast this weekend.

Louise Boyle16 June 2023 08:00

Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog

Follow for updates on the tornado which battered the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton on Thursday.

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 10:12

Full story: Devastating tornado rips through Texas leaving at least three dead, two missing and dozens more injured

A devastating tornado has ripped through Texas leaving at least three dead, two missing and dozens more injured.

The Lone Star State was pummeled by a series of severe storms on Thursday, destroying trailer homes and downing communications towers.

As thousands of homes – and a major hospital – were left without power and residents were feared missing in the rubble, Governor Greg Abbott directed state emergency response resources to the hard-hit Panhandle town of Perryton.

Read the full story:

Deadly tornado rips through Texas killing three and injuring dozens more

One victim was killed when a mobile home park in Perryton, Texas, took a ‘direct hit’ from a tornado

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 10:14

WATCH: Tornado devastates town of Perryton

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 10:20

At least three people killed in the storm

Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher told reporters that three people had so far been confirmed dead from the storm.

One of the victims was killed when the mobile home park they lived in took a “direct hit” from a tornado, he said.

As rescue teams search for survivors in the rubble, at least 30 trailers were said to be damaged or destroyed.

Around 100 other people are believed to have been injured in the storm, with injuries ranging from minor to severe with many being transferred to trauma centers, the fire chief said.

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 10:30

First responders travel from Oklahoma to help Perryton

First responders from surrounding areas and from Oklahoma descended on the town of Perryton, after it was hammered by a tornado on Thursday.

Perryton is home to more than 8,000 people and about 115 miles (185 kilometres) northeast of Amarillo, just south of the Oklahoma line.

Keith Shadden of the Beaver County, Oklahoma, Emergency Manager told CNN that the county had sent fire, law enforcement and EMS units across the state border to Perryton.

He said they plan to send further assistance when the weather improves.

Help has also poured in from the city of Stinnett, Texas, the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office, the Borger Police Department, Booker Fire Department and the City of Fritch.

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 10:45

Storm chaser describes witnessing storm

Storm chaser Brian Emfinger told Fox Weather that he watched the twister move through a mobile home park, mangling trailers and uprooting trees.

“I had seen the tornado do some pretty serious destruction to the industrial part of town,” he said.

“Unfortunately, just west of there, there is just mobile home, after mobile home, after mobile home that is completely destroyed. There is significant damage.”

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 11:00

Texas lawmaker Ronny Jackson comments on Perryton tornado

“Jane & I are praying for the people of Perryton tonight. I am in contact with Mayor Symons and this tragedy is being closely monitored by myself and my whole staff. Please tune into KXDJ for updates,” he tweeted.

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 11:20

Thousands of Texans without power

More than 224,000 customers were without power in Texas as of around 3.30am CT local time on Friday morning, according to the website.

In Ochiltree County – home to Perryton – a staggering 91 percent (8,910 of 9,775) of customers were without power.

Xcel Energy told ABC News late on Thursday night that there was no power at all to Perryton.

“Our crews are arriving on site and are assisting in removing lines from cars and across the roads. We are patrolling the transmission feeds into the city and also assessing possible damage at the main substation in town,” Xcel Energy said in a statement.

“One of the three main transmission feeds into the city was apparently undamaged, but we deenergized it for safety reasons.”

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 11:40

Texas Governor Greg Abbott directs emergency

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has directed state emergency response resources to assist the hard-hit town.

“The State of Texas is swiftly deploying critical emergency response resources to provide all necessary support and assistance to protect Texans and help those impacted by tornadoes in Perryton,” the governor anniunced in a statement.

“I encourage all Texans to heed the guidance of state and local officials and to take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves and your loved ones.

“We remain ready to quickly provide any additional resources needed over the course of this severe weather event.”

Rachel Sharp16 June 2023 12:00

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