Deadly EF-1 tornado hits Laguna Heights, extensive damage reported, Texas
A destructive tornado hit Laguna Heights near Port Isabel on the Texas coastline, causing widespread damage, killing one person, and injuring at least ten others on May 13, 2023.
In the early hours of May 13, 2023, a deadly tornado tore through the Laguna Heights community, located on Highway 100 between Port Isabel and Laguna Vista, leaving one person dead and at least ten injured. The twister was part of a severe weather system plaguing the state.
The National Weather Service (NWS) rated the tornado as EF-1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with estimated wind speeds of 138 to 177 km/h (86 to 110 mph). The tornado was on the ground for approximately five minutes, causing considerable damage along its path.
Officials in Port Isabel reported that numerous structures “sustained extensive damage,” and power lines in the area were also affected, leading to outages. Highway 100 was blocked to all traffic by early Saturday afternoon due to the aftermath of the storm.
A curfew was put into effect in Laguna Heights from sunset to sunrise on Saturday evening as recovery and cleanup efforts began. Multiple agencies, including the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, are on the scene, assisting with shelter needs for those left homeless by the tornado’s destruction.
The tornado in Laguna Heights was just one of many severe weather incidents Texas is grappling with as a stalled storm continues to batter the state. Flash flood warnings were issued for an area between San Antonio and Victoria, Texas, around noon on Saturday, as heavy downpours inundated the region. The storm also brought gusts of wind up to 117 km/h (73 mph) in Doole, Texas.
“Despite how dry it has been across much of Texas, the rain can fall heavily enough over a short amount of time to cause flash flooding and rapid water rises on small streams, creeks and dangerous flooding on streets and highways,” warned AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.
The Laguna Heights tornado was part of a larger severe weather outbreak, particularly in the Plains, where over a dozen tornadoes were reported last week.
1 Deadly tornado hits Texas coast amid statewide severe weather – AccuWeather – May 13, 2023
2 Texas tornado leaves at least 1 dead, 10 injured as it tears through town near Brownsville – FOX Weather – May 13, 2023
Featured image credit: Port Isabel Facebook
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