PASADENA, Texas—A powerful storm system took aim at the Gulf Coast Jan. 24, spawning a tornado that downed utility poles and power lines, overturned vehicles and ripped roofs off homes and businesses in communities East of Houston. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.
The National Weather Service had issued a tornado emergency for that area, warning that a “large, extremely dangerous and potentially deadly tornado” was on the ground Jan. 24 afternoon and was headed toward Baytown, about 25 miles East of Houston. The warning expired as the system moved to the East, leaving behind cooler temperatures.
Strong winds damaged commercial buildings, homes and power lines in nearby Pasadena, a city southeast of Houston. Utility poles and power lines were downed, and several vehicles, including a trailer, were damaged or flipped over in a parking lot.
In Baytown, there were downed power lines and damage to homes and businesses, but no reports of serious injuries, said Baytown spokesperson Jason Calder.
Officials in nearby Deer Park said the tornado did severe damage to a nursing home. Residents had to be taken away, but no one was hurt.The website PowerOutage.us, which collects live power outage data from utilities across the United States, reported about 67,000 Texas customers were without power afterward, mostly in the Houston area and surrounding counties. The site reported about 28,000 outages in neighboring Arkansas, and about 25,000 in Louisiana.
According to CNN, more than a dozen reported tornadoes struck across communities in Texas and Louisiana, damaging many properties as windows and roofs were blown off buildings.and snowfall fell across parts of northwestern Arkansas, southern Missouri and eastern Oklahoma.
The storm system also brought snow and ice to much of the entral U.S. Schools and businesses were closed across Oklahoma, which saw snowfall totals of between one and six inches across Central and Eastern parts of the state.
Heavy, wet snow—part of the storm system that spawned tornadoes in the Houston area—covered roads, vehicles, houses and buildings Jan. 25 from central and Northern Indiana into much of southeastern Michigan.
Fort Wayne, Indiana, saw numerous crashes due to the snowfall on the roads. Just north of Indianapolis, some power outages were reported in Hamilton County as the wet snow accumulated on power lines, said meteorologist Gregory Melo with the weather service’s Indianapolis office.
The storm was expected to bring damaging winds to parts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, forecasters said. Winter weather advisories stretched from southern Missouri to Maine, with areas of New England expected to see eight to 12 inches of snow, the National Weather Service said. Some of the New England states were getting hit with a winter storm in late January that was snarling roads, knocking down electric wires and keeping some children home from school.
At presstime, the storm cut power to tens of thousands of electric customers across the region, including about 50,000 in New Hampshire; 27,500 in Maine; 12,000 in Massachusetts; and 10,000 in Vermont.
The storm brought about a foot of snow to parts of Maine, which was also hit by a significant snowfall days earlier. Compiled from Associated Press reports. Final Call staff contributed to this report.