“This is pretty devastating”: Three dead, more than 100 injured after tornado strikes Perryton

At least three people died and more than 100 others were injured when a tornado hit the city on Thursday afternoon. Local media officials told Sheriff Terry Bouchard that the tornado caught the community by surprise and left debris scattered throughout the area. The storm struck Perryton, a town in the Panhandle with a population of about 8,100 people.

Three individuals who had previously been reported as lost were discovered.

The first responders and public safety agencies noted that other towns and cities were helping. He added that the ambulances were likely not able to get to the highways due to the damage caused by the tornado. A lot of businesses and trailers were destroyed. There were downed trees and leveled buildings, and cars with shattered windows, as shown in images posted by local reporters on social media. However, officials from various agencies said that the extent of the damage was not immediately clear as they were just beginning to survey the area.

On the morning of Friday, Bouchard informed journalists, “We will require considerable assistance from all individuals. I am unable to express the exact number of residences we have lost. It will require a significant amount of time for us to recover from this severe situation.”

The storm “completely devastated” the two and a half blocks of the downtown area, stated Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher. Dutcher informed NBC’s “Today” show that approximately 150 to 200 houses were demolished by the storm.

The northeastern part of the state experienced significant destruction due to storms earlier in the week, resulting in a majority of the outages. More than 180,000 customers in Texas were left without electricity. By Friday evening, nearly 70% of Ochiltree County had no power. Officials from the local utility, Xcel Energy, stated that facilities were intentionally disconnected for safety reasons, resulting in the city being without electricity on Thursday night.

“According to utility officials, the transmission lines that provide electricity to the city have suffered damage, and numerous lower voltage distribution lines are not operational within the city. Xcel Energy personnel are guaranteeing the safety of Perryton residents and first responders. Currently, no estimated time for the restoration of electricity is available.”

Gov. Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Division of Emergency Management on Thursday evening to dispatch road workers, saw crews, and an emergency medical task force, along with other resources.

“I encourage all Texans to take necessary precautions and heed the guidance of local and state officials in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. We are ready to quickly provide any additional resources needed during this severe weather event.”

According to KSLA, a twister struck Cass County in East Texas on Wednesday, resulting in property damage and one person getting injured. On Friday, Abbott released a declaration of calamity for Ochiltree and Cass counties, which he stated would simplify the state’s capacity to aid local officials in recuperating and reconstructing their communities.

Abbott stated in a declaration of disaster that ‘Our sympathies continue to be with the residents of Perryton and all Texans affected by the destructive tornadoes in the Panhandle last night’.