HOUSTON – Tuesday’s storms left a path of damage in several parts of the Houston area.
On Wednesday, National Weather Service Houston confirmed that the tornado that hit parts of south Houston was officially rated EF3 by their survey teams. NWS said the tornado had an estimated path length of 18 miles, a maximum path width of 0.66 miles and a wind speed of 140 mph.
NWS Houston can now confirm that the Deer Park/Pasadena tornado will be preliminarily rated EF3, with an estimated maximum path length of 18 mi, maximum path width of 0.66 mi, and maximum wind speed of 140 mph. We will provide a full summary later this evening. #houwx #txwx— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) January 25, 2023
From a large, destructive tornado in Deer Park, to a structural collapse near Baytown, to street flooding, heavy downpours, lightning, powerful wind and downed trees - the cleanup in the most hard-hit areas began Tuesday.
Today's tornado first touched down near the Gulf freeway and Beltway 8 ...then raced northeast through #Pasadena, #DeerPark into Baytown before finally falling apart. NWS storm teams will be out tomorrow but I'd say easy EF-2 damage at least. #houwx @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/kreAnQSoA5— Justin Stapleton (@KPRC2Justin) January 25, 2023
In Deer Park, officials confirmed that a tornado hit the area around 2:29 p.m.
City officials are assessing the damages and responding to minor injuries.
Officials also added that they are in contact with Harris County Emergency Management, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and the Red Cross. Officials said Public Works is coordinating with CenterPoint Energy to repair power outages. Public Works is also out removing debris from the roadway.
During Wednesday’s news conference, Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton said the city is grateful that there were no serious injuries or casualties.
He said multiple agencies from CenterPoint, DPS, Public Works, National Weather Service and Task Force One have been assisting the damaged city in efforts to clear debris and restore power to residents.
The mayor said most of the city’s facilities are without power and running on generators. So far, more than 200,000 customers have been restored with power but 16,000 of customers are still without power.
Mouton said the city of Deer Park has turned it’s website into a weather assistance page at http://deerparktx.gov/ where residents can keep up with the latest updates.
JUST NOW: A Deer Park learning center shows #KPRC2Investigates how lucky they were.. the operator tells me they huddled all the children to a center hallway and then this happened. All are OK. Coverage now on @kprc2 and livestream Click2Houston. com. pic.twitter.com/DsLCFMQ1QS— Mario Díaz (@KPRC2Mario) January 24, 2023
On Tuesday night, Deer Park ISD decided to cancel classes due to the amount of damage done to homes and businesses.
“We hope this message finds you safe and sound after today’s events. It appears many homes and businesses in our area were damaged, and some neighborhoods remain without power at this time. After careful consideration, we believe it is in the best interest of our students, team members, and community to cancel school for tomorrow, Jan. 25. We hope this will give families a chance to recover from the stress of today’s events, and we believe it is best for children to be with their parents or guardians after a natural disaster. Tomorrow’s school cancellation will also give our staff time to examine our facilities and identify any damage that might have occurred. Thankfully, it appears there were no casualties or injuries associated with the tornado that hit Deer Park this afternoon. Tonight, all of our Deer Park schools are still without power. (The schools in the Fairmont and Deepwater areas have power.) We will share additional information as it becomes available. Finally, we know that students might have unique concerns about what took place today. We are attaching a document recommended by our counselors called “Helping Children After a Natural Disaster.”
In Baytown, KPRC 2 reporter Bryce Newberry says Baytown fire and police departments are responding to reports of a gas leak near a reported structure collapse where flames are shooting from the ground of the front yard. He also added that trees are down and power is out in the Wooster neighborhood.
Baytown: Fire and CenterPoint crews are responding to possible gas leak near a reported structure collapse. Flame is shooting from the ground in what appears to be a front yard. Trees are down and power is out in the Wooster neighborhood. @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/dM5Sab625o— Bryce Newberry (@KPRC2Bryce) January 24, 2023
In southeast Houston, KPRC 2 reporter Taisha Walker saw downed trees and powerlines on Kirklane Driver and Kirkholm Drive.