Fatalities and damage reported as severe storm strikes Eastern Texas
Severe storms, including strong winds, thunderstorms, and heavy hailstorms, hit eastern Texas, particularly Montgomery County, on May 23, 2023. The extreme weather conditions have led to several incidents, resulting in two fatalities, seven injuries, and significant damage.
Eastern Texas, particularly Montgomery County, has been severely affected by a series of extreme weather events on May 23, 2023. The region has experienced strong winds, thunderstorms, and heavy hailstorms, leading to several weather-related incidents that have resulted in casualties and damage.
In the city of Conroe, located in Montgomery County, an under-construction building collapsed due to the strong wind, resulting in two fatalities and seven injured people.
In addition to the human toll, the severe weather has also caused significant property damage.
According to reports, one building has been damaged, and up to 16 000 power outages have been recorded across Montgomery County.
A brief but intense weather event swept through the region between 14:35 and 15:40 CDT, unleashing severe thunderstorms and the potential for a tornado, as reported by the National Weather Service.
Witnesses described the storm as a rapid occurrence, lasting approximately 10 minutes. It brought strong winds, heavy rain, and even a mix of sleet and hail. In the Conroe-Huntsville area, some residents claimed to have witnessed a tornado touchdown.
Congressman Morgan Luttrell, whose jurisdiction includes Conroe, took to social media to alert the community about the tornado warning and urged everyone to stay safe during the powerful storm.
Following a storm survey conducted in Montgomery and Walker counties, the NWS Houston office initially attributed the damage to straight line winds. No evidence of tornado touchdowns was found. However, the NWS is still gathering data on the severe storm, which featured estimated peak winds of 96 – 130 km/h (60 to 80 mph).
Local news outlets reported an injury resulting from a roof collapse at an auto body shop in Huntsville, Walker County. Additionally, damaging winds knocked down trees, including a large one that fell onto an apartment building in Huntsville, as shared in social media photos.
Walker County Emergency Management reported storm damage to around 20 homes in the Forest Hills neighborhood, according to KTRK.
Due to the extensive storm damage in several neighborhoods, Huntsville Independent School announced that students would be kept at the transportation department offices until further notice, ensuring their safety.
On May 25, Entergy Texas said their crews have successfully restored power to more than 98% of customers impacted by severe weather. All customers are expected to be restored by May 27.
In 2023, Texas has taken the lead in severe weather reports nationwide, with a total of 992 incidents, according to the Storm Prediction Center. These reports include 42 preliminary tornadoes, 552 instances of large hail, and 398 cases of strong winds.
1 Severe weather in USA – DG ECHO – May 25, 2023
2 2 dead, 7 injured in Texas tornado-warned storm – AccuWeather – May 23, 2023
Featured image credit: Entergy Texas
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