A tornado ripped through the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton on Thursday, causing widespread damage as another in a series of fierce storms carved its way through the South.

The National Weather Service in Amarillo confirmed that a tornado hit the area Thursday afternoon. But there was no immediate word on its size, meteorologist Luigi Meccariello said.

“There are still reports of ongoing rescues,” he said.

It was still unclear if there were any injuries or fatalities. Video from Perryton showed collapsed and damaged buildings, downed power lines and overturned vehicles. 

Tornado damage in Perryton, Texas
Tornado damage in Perryton, Texas, on June 15, 2023. 


Alex Driggars, a reporter for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, posted footage to social media of what he said was Perryton City Hall and the city’s fire station, both of which appeared to have sustained significant damage.  

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement late Thursday night that he had directed the state Division of Emergency Management to deploy state resources “to meet urgent life-safety needs in Perryton.”

“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,” Abbott said.

Perryton is located about 100 miles north of Amarillo. 

More than 55,000 customers were without electricity in Texas and Oklahoma as of late Thursday night, according to the utility tracker PowerOutage.us.

Ochiltree General Hospital in Perryton on Facebook said “Walking/wounded please go to the clinic. All others to the hospital ER.”

The hospital also said an American Red Cross shelter had been set up at the Ochiltree County Expo Center.

Chris Samples of local radio station KXDJ-FM said that according to hospital officials, at least 100 people went to the emergency room. The station was running on auxiliary power.

“The whole city is out of power,” he said.

The weather service said a second round of storms would continue to move through Oklahoma and parts of Texas through the evening while the risk of severe weather, including tornados, remained for the metropolitan Oklahoma City area.

The storm system also brought hail and possible tornados to northwestern Ohio.

A barn was smashed and trees toppled in Sandusky County, Ohio, and power lines were downed in northern Toledo, leaving thousands without power. The weather service reported “a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado” over Bellevue and storms showing “signs of rotation” in other areas.


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