Powderly, Texas – Tornado tore parts ofAt least one person was killed on Friday, dozens more were injured and dozens of homes and buildings were destroyed.
The tornado hit the southeast corner of the state in McCartan County, Oklahoma. County emergency manager Cody McDaniel confirmed one death, although he did not immediately provide details.
A church, medical center, and a school collapsed in the small town of Idabel.
“There is complete devastation on the south and east sides of Idabel,” Steven Carter, an emergency management coordinator for McCarten County, told the Texarkana Gazette.
Carter told the newspaper that as of late Friday, people were trapped.
Governor Kevin Stitt said search and rescue teams and generators were being sent to the Idabel area.
“Prayers for Oklahoman affected by today’s tornado,” Stitt tweeted.
Kelly Cain of the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management said at least three other counties were also affected by the storm, with some areas flooding.
The National Weather Service said tornadoes were also reported in Texas and Arkansas and a hurricane system was moving toward Louisiana.
In Texas, Lamar County officials said at least 50 homes were damaged or destroyed and 10 people were treated in a hospital, including two with serious injuries. No death was immediately reported.
The county’s highest elected official, Judge Brandon Bell, declared a disaster in the area, a step toward receiving federal aid and funding. Bell’s announcement said at least two dozen people were injured throughout the county.
A community about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Idabel and about 120 miles (193 kilometers) northeast of Dallas hit hard. Powderly and Idabel are both near the Texas-Oklahoma border.
The Lamar County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management said the tornado touched down after 4 p.m. and traveled north-northeast through the communities of Hopewell, Caviness, Beaver Creek and Powderly.
Randy Johnson, head of the Powderly Volunteer Fire Department, told The Paris News newspaper that she did not know anyone had been killed, but was aware of the injuries.
“It’s going to take a long time to clean 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 affected.