Tornadoes Wreak Havoc in 2 States

At least one person is dead and dozens hurt in Texas, Oklahoma after bout of extreme weather
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 5, 2022 10:45 AM CDT
Tornadoes Wreak Havoc in 2 States
Scenes of devastation are visible in all directions along Lamar County Road 35940 after a massive tornado hit the area, causing extensive damage and destroying an unknown number of homes on Friday in Powderly, Texas.   (Jeff Forward/The Paris News via AP)

Tornadoes tore through parts of Texas and Oklahoma on Friday, killing at least one person, injuring dozens of others, and leaving dozens of homes and buildings in ruins. Tornadoes hit hard in McCurtain County, Okla., in the southeastern corner of the state. Cody McDaniel, the county's emergency manager, confirmed one death, although he didn't immediately provide details, per the AP. The small town of Idabel saw a church, medical center, and a school torn apart. "There was total destruction on the south and east sides of Idabel," Steven Carter, an emergency management coordinator for McCurtain County, told the Texarkana Gazette. Carter told the paper that people were still trapped late Friday. Gov. Kevin Stitt said search and rescue teams and generators were being sent to the Idabel area. "Praying for Oklahomans impacted by today's tornadoes," he tweeted.

Keli Cain of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said at least three other counties were also hit by storms, with flash flooding in some areas. The National Weather Service said tornadoes also were reported in Texas and Arkansas, and a storm system was heading toward Louisiana. In Texas, authorities in Lamar County said at least 50 homes were damaged or destroyed and 10 people were treated at one hospital, including two with critical injuries. No deaths were immediately reported. Judge Brandon Bell, the county's highest elected official, declared a disaster in the area, a step in getting federal assistance and funding. Bell's declaration said at least two dozen people were injured across the county.

One community hit hard was Powderly, about 45 miles west of Idabel and about 120 miles northeast of Dallas. Both Powderly and Idabel are near the Texas-Oklahoma border. The Lamar County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management said the tornado touched down shortly after 4pm and traveled north-northeast through the communities of Hopewell, Caviness, Beaver Creek, and Powderly. Randi Johnson, chief of the Powderly Volunteer Fire Department, told the Paris News newspaper that she wasn't aware anyone had been killed but knew of injuries. "It's going to take a long time to get this cleaned up, but the community came together," Johnson said. "It's really heartbreaking to see." Churches opened their doors to serve as shelters for those whose homes were impacted.

(More tornadoes stories.)

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