Severe storm threat moves southeast after tornadoes hit suburban Houston

The same line of powerful, severe storms that hit the Houston area of ​​southeast Texas are now making their way across the southeast and are expected to affect areas from northern Florida to eastern Carolina. North.

A tornado watch has been issued for the central and eastern Florida Panhandle and extreme southwest Georgia through 11 a.m. EST.

The PKB Forecast Center said the threat of severe storms will continue Wednesday morning from the Florida Panhandle to southern Georgia. Strong wind shear – the change in wind speed and/or direction with height – will maintain the tornado threat in these areas. The shear will begin to relax Wednesday afternoon, which should allow the tornado threat to diminish as the line of storms moves eastward through the southeast.

“Those of you in places like Albany, GA, Savannah, GA, Hilton Head, and even Charleston, SC, all need to be on high alert today, and also those of you in Wilmington, NC , … as this line passes, these fast, fast tornadoes are possible,” said PKB Weather meteorologist Jason Frazer.

The devastating wind gusts will be the main threat to Florida cities like Jacksonville, Gainesville, Tampa and Orlando, as well as Savannah in Georgia.

The threat of severe storms will continue from the Florida Panhandle to southern Georgia.
PKB Weather

“For those of you in other areas, even if you don’t see tornadoes, you’ll probably end up seeing the winds really pick up. Due to the intensity of some of these rain showers, visibility will be also a problem,” Frazer said.

Farther north across the eastern Carolinas, storms will intensify throughout the day as moist, unstable air heads north off the Atlantic Wednesday afternoon.

The threat of gusty winds and damaging tornadoes will be greatest near the coast, from Charleston, South Carolina to Virginia Beach, Virginia. The threat of severe storms will end after approximately 10 p.m. EST as the line of storms moves off the coast and into the Atlantic.

A man walks through a parking lot containing several overturned vehicles.
A man walks through a parking lot containing several overturned vehicles after a tornado in Pasadena, Texas.
Houston Chronicle via AP

People cross under fallen power lines.
People cross under downed power lines in Pasadena, Texas.
Houston Chronicle via AP

Tornadoes hit Texas and Louisiana

The same severe weather line spawned at least 14 reports of tornadoes in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana Tuesday afternoon, causing damage and injury. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.

National Weather Service survey crews in Houston have confirmed at least EF-2 damage so far in the Pasadena and Deer Park areas of southeast Houston, the agency said Wednesday morning. Teams will continue to provide additional updates as their meteorologists continue to conduct surveys.

Authorities are calling the aftermath 15 miles outside Houston in Pasadena, Texas nothing short of catastrophic as the true extent of the damage is revealed. Homes and buildings were destroyed, cars and trucks were tossed aside as if they were toys.

Watch the tornado.
There were at least 14 reports of tornadoes in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana Tuesday afternoon.
PKB Weather

However, the Houston area was not spared from the storms which triggered dozens of tornado warnings, including a rare tornado emergency – a first for the region and among the National Weather Service’s most severe warnings. .

Pasadena and Deer Park were among the hardest hit areas after a tornado tore through suburbs on the southeast side of the Houston metro area.

Workers at a daycare center in Deer Park told PKB 26 Houston they had to move children there to safety when the tornado hit.

Mario Mendoza carries items out of a friend's storm-damaged home Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Pasadena, Texas.
A person carries items out of a storm-damaged home in Pasadena, Texas.

Electricity attacks all over the country.
Nearly 50,000 power outages spread across Texas and Louisiana.
PKB Weather

“They were scared,” said one worker. “Everyone was a little freaked out because we went fast and tried to get everyone in quickly, and so they were a little scared, but we talked to them, put Cocomelon on, calmed them down, and after that , everyone pretty much AGREED.”

For Ryan Lee, Senior Captain at the Houston Fire Department, it was definitely a different experience.

“Just in my 20s with the Houston Fire Department, even in my decade in the Rescue Division, we were going to see building collapses and stuff like that, but that was a different experience,” he said. declared. “It was just widespread damage – it was impressive, the level of damage.”

As of Wednesday morning, nearly 50,000 power outages swept through Texas and Louisiana, about half of what was reported at the height of the storms.

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