Drivers stranded and damage reported after possible Houston-area tornado



CNN

Houston-area emergency responders say they are responding to reports of damage and stranded motorists after a possible tornado passed through the area on Tuesday.

Structural damage from a tornado in Pasadena, about 15 miles southeast of Houston, is “catastrophic,” according to the local police chief.

“In my 25 years here, this is probably the worst damage I’ve seen,” Chief Josh Bruegger told reporters outside a damaged animal shelter in the city, where two dogs were injured.

Only one person has been reported injured so far in the city, Mayor Jeff Wagner said, but “we saw a lot of damage. We have seen buildings that have collapsed.

The police chief said the cleanup will require extensive work. “For the days ahead, we’re going to have our hands full,” he said.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Department was “responding to a high number of stranded motorists” Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted. The department had prepared its deep-sea rescue vehicles ahead of the storm, he said.

There have been reports of “several overturned commercial trucks” near Beltway 8, the ring road around the city of Houston, Pasadena Police Department tweeted, and some power lines are said to be down.

“Our officers and the fire department are working to help those who were immediately impacted,” the department tweeted.

More than 113,000 electric customers were without power in Texas as of Tuesday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us.

A tornado emergency was declared earlier Tuesday for the southeast Houston metro area where “one confirmed large and destructive tornado was observed over northwest Pasadena moving northeast at 60 mph” , according to the National Weather Service in Houston.

Other locations in this tornado’s path included Deer Park, Baytown, Highlands and Channelview, according to the weather service.

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