A growing outbreak of tornadoes in Texas and Oklahoma is wreaking havoc in Texas and Oklahoma, destroying homes and closing roads and airports.
The US National Weather Service (NWS) warned late Monday that a severe storm system in the two southern states had already spawned several tornadoes and had the potential to create more.
Tornadoes have already touched down in the Texas cities of Jacksboro, Luling and Round Rock, as well as Kingston in Oklahoma, damaging several homes and buildings, including a school and an animal shelter.
About 350 flights at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport — about a fifth of all flights both inbound and outbound — were canceled Monday, while Texas state officials closed several highways due to debris.
Videos taken by citizens, reporters and storm chasers showed tornadoes touching across Texas and leaving a trail of destruction through parking lots, fields, mobile homes and homes.
“Several tornadoes, including the potential for a few strong tornadoes, along with very large hail and damaging winds, are expected this afternoon through tonight, especially in portions of central and eastern Texas into western Louisiana,” the NWS said on Thursday. Monday night.
He said the tornado risk would continue through at least Wednesday, with the storm danger area moving up the Gulf of Mexico coast through Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and North and South Carolina.
Weather forecasting company AccuWeather said there was a high chance of severe storms and the potential for “strong, long-duration tornadoes”, calling it “perhaps one of the most volatile”. [storm] events so far in 2022.”
AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jonathan Porter said: “We are looking at a potentially dangerous severe weather situation early this week that could cause widespread flooding, large hail, the threat of tornadoes, high winds and power outages.
“This is a volatile weather pattern, and we’ve seen these types of storm systems before produce damaging, dangerous, high-impact flooding and severe weather.”
The firm added that tornadoes would be masked by torrential rain, thunderstorms and nighttime darkness, meaning residents could have a hard time spotting them in time to get to safety.
A tornado moved into the city of Madisonville, Texas around 9:40 p.m. Texas time, toppling trees and causing damage, according to storm chasers’ live stream on YouTube.
“He just planted himself on top of us. It just planted itself on top of us,” said a storm chaser outside Madisonville, Texas, streaming live to YouTube weather analyst Ryan Hall just before the tornado entered the city.
“Holy smoke. We got debris, we got bits of the trees that hit us when it crossed the road. Power lines blew up right above our head.”
Another storm chaser responded: “They warned us to catch these people. This is ridiculous. No sir.”
Hall said the tornado was “riding” US Highway 190 directly into downtown Madisonville.