According to the Ochiltree County Sheriff’s Office, a catastrophic tornado that struck Perryton, Texas, Thursday evening left at least three people dead, two people missing, and 56 people injured.
According to Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher, there may be 100 or so victims of injuries. According to Dutcher, the injuries range from minor to severe, and several people have been taken to trauma clinics.
According to Dutcher, communication towers were knocked down and trailer homes were completely demolished on the north and east edges of the small town. More than 75 patients were being treated at the nearby hospital, and one fatality has been verified.
According to Dutcher, the confirmed death came from a trailer home, and several agencies are on the scene assisting with the tornado response.
According to Xcel Energy, Perryton is currently without electricity.
“Our crews are arriving on site and are assisting in removing lines from cars and across the roads. We are patrolling the transmission feeds into the city and also assessing possible damage at the main substation in town. One of the three main transmission feeds into the city was apparently undamaged, but we deenergized it for safety reasons,” Xcel Energy said in a statement.
In order to address Perryton’s immediate demands for life safety, Governor Greg Abbott instructed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to mobilize state emergency response resources.
“The State of Texas is swiftly deploying critical emergency response resources to provide all necessary support and assistance to protect Texans and help those impacted by tornadoes in Perryton,” Abbott said in a statement. “I encourage all Texans to heed the guidance of state and local officials and to take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves and your loved ones. We remain ready to quickly provide any additional resources needed over the course of this severe weather event.”
The local hospital, Ochiltree General Hospital, is currently without power, a representative stated Thursday night.
Ochiltree General Hospital’s Debbie Beck, CFO, revealed to ABC News that they have treated 50 to 100 patients with tornado-related injuries.
According to Beck, the hospital lost power, and because they are still manually filling out paperwork, they do not yet know the precise number of tornado patients. According to Beck, no people passed away at the hospital, and several patients were taken to Northwest Texas Hospital.
As of Thursday night, seven tornadoes have been reported in Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan.
In Brunswick, Georgia, Jacksonville, Florida, eastern Louisiana, and southern Mississippi, severe thunderstorm watches have been issued.
Flooding and heavy rain are also wreaking havoc in Georgia and Alabama. Over the past 24 hours, Albany, Georgia, received more than 7 inches of rain.
This comes after storms on Wednesday caused significant hail, strong winds, and at least 10 reported tornadoes in Texas, Alabama, and Georgia.
With a severe thunderstorm watch issued for sections of southeast Colorado and southwest Kansas, the Plains are also bracing for bad weather. Expect hazardous gusts of up to 80 mph, hail up to 4 inches in diameter, and maybe tornadoes in the area.
From Colorado to the Gulf Coast, more storms are predicted for Friday; the biggest risks include damaging winds and hail. From Virginia to New Jersey, severe storms are also expected on Friday afternoon and evening.
The South is currently baking in deadly triple digit temperatures. In the next days, it’s likely that Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and New Orleans will experience record-high temperatures.