Severe storm closes international border bridge in Laredo, US-Mexico
A severe thunderstorm brought damaging winds and heavy rain to US – Mexico border region late May 21, 2017, forcing authorities to close the Laredo – Nuevo Laredo bridge, one of the busiest commercial crossings between the two countries. The traffic is being rerouted to the Columbia-Solidarity bridge until further notice, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.
The storm, initially thought to be a tornado, struck about 20:30 local time. It brought heavy rain and strong winds, knocking out power to Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Valle Hermoso and Matamoros, among other locations. Nearby weather stations measured wind gusts of up to 90 km/h (56 mph).
Images from the area show tractor trailers flipped on their sides and cosmetic damage to bridge facilities, AP reported. Mexico News Daily said signs and trees were blown over and Mexican Customs facilities sustained severe damages.
"The damage at Nuevo Laredo International Bridge 3 and blackouts in several municipalities of the state of Tamaulipas were caused by a thunderstorm and not by a tornado," said Pedro Granados, the director of Tamaulipas Civil Protection, who surveyed the area this morning. "Nobody actually witnessed a tornado," he added.
There are no reports of injuries or fatalities.
Posible #tornado afectó hoy a región fronteriza USA-MEX. Puente Int. 3 en Nuevo Laredo. Información de PDTamaulipas. pic.twitter.com/Kp9z81c5du
— Tornados México (@TornadosMexico) May 22, 2017
More storm damage pics circulating on Facebook from northwest Laredo @NWSCorpus @TheWeatherChannel 5/21/17 pic.twitter.com/rSqi2ZKiMR
— South TX Wx Updates (@STWUpdates) May 22, 2017
The following video was recorded in Laredo, Texas.
A number of websites are using the image below saying it was a tornado in Laredo region. The image was actually taken in Dodge City, Kansas on May 24, 2016.
Imagen que circula en redes sociales sobre supuesto tornado en #NuevoLaredo, #Tamps. Es FALSA, corresponde a Doges City, Kansas del 2016. pic.twitter.com/ySQ8veCNPa
— Meteoro Tamaulipas (@MeteoroTamps) May 22, 2017
Featured image: Damage at Nuevo Laredo customs facilities after a severe thunderstorm on May 21, 2017. Credit: Tornados Mexico
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