Before dawn on Saturday, a strong tornado tore through a town close to Texas’ southernmost point, damaging scores of homes and bringing down power lines, according to authorities.
One person was killed and a curfew was put in place.
According to Tom Hushen, the emergency management coordinator for Cameron County, at least 10 additional patients, including two who were listed in severe condition, were admitted to hospitals. Additionally, many locals picked up scrapes and bruises.
Eddie Trevio Jr., the judge of Cameron County, announced a midnight curfew for anyone under the age of 17, which is scheduled to terminate on May 16 in order to “mitigate the effects of this public health and safety emergency.”
Additionally, the injunction prevents visitors from Laguna Heights from going into its residential zones.
In the unincorporated village of Laguna Heights, which is situated on the mainland across from South Padre Island, off the Gulf of Mexico, the tornado struck at around 4 a.m. when most residents were asleep in their homes.
The county is studded with inadequate homes and has one of the worst rates of poverty in Texas.
There was no notice beforehand. As opposed to this, the initial tornado warning “went out at the same time it was touching ground,” according to Barry Goldsmith, a meteorologist who coordinates warnings for the National Weather Service in Brownsville.
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At a press conference on Saturday, Trevio stated, “With storms, we have the advantage of getting some advance warning; we know it’s probably on its way.
“With a tornado, as Barry indicated, unless we have a hurricane or tropical cyclone in the region, it’s not a common scenario. Therefore, we were without the benefit of a warning.
42-year-old Roberto Flores passed away after “basically being crushed as a result of the damage to his mobile home,” according to Trevio.
According to the weather service, the storm had wind speeds between 86 and 110 mph (138 and 177 kph) and was classified as an EF1 tornado.
It only persisted for two to four minutes, but it completely destroyed the region.
Up to 60 dwellings suffered damage. 38 individuals were receiving assistance from a temporary shelter in the neighboring city of Port Isabel after the county judge approved a disaster declaration.
County sheriff Eric Garza stated, “Apparently it went straight through that community.” People are terrified to leave their homes for fear that someone may break in and start robbing them.
Garza claimed that his agency is assisting in securing the region.
Despite this spring’s activity, Laguna Heights, which is roughly 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Brownsville, Texas, is not prone to tornadoes, according to meteorologist Angelica Soria with the meteorological service.
Also getting ready for hurricane season to begin is the region.
Following an outbreak of hundreds of tornadoes in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado that inflicted damage but no recorded fatalities, there was the tornado in Texas.