Around 10am Wednesday morning reports started coming in about a tornado around the Bessie Heights area that later crossed I-10 near Hwy. 62. That tornado made its way over FM1130 and Hudnall Road and then into the Hartburg area, causing heavy tree and home damage.
A warm morning coupled with an approaching cool front made the scenario for bad weather possible. The National Weather Service is not sure how many tornadoes or touch downs may have been produced by the storm. The one that went across I-10 was classified as an EF2 by the NWS with winds of 130mph.
Heavy wind and rains cut power to many customers. Entergy reported over 14,000 outages in Jefferson County, almost 11,000 in Orange County and 1600 in the Deweyville/Hartburg area.
The front then came through around noon in Orange County and dumped from 2-4 inches of rain in a short amount of time with the heaviest amounts coming from the west side of the county.
Orange County residents affected by the severe weather Wednesday are encouraged to report property damage using the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM) survey. Using the Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) damage surveys, Orange County can report damage to homes and businesses to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The information provided in the surveys assist emergency management officials across the state to gain an understanding of damages that occurred and help officials determine if the state meets federal requirements for disaster assistance. As preliminary damage assessments take place and the recovery phase begins, citizens can help by filling out the survey, sharing pertinent details and uploading photos to assist in this process. The iSTAT damage survey can be filled out in English and/or Spanish after clicking on October Severe Weather Events. Reporting damage through iSTAT surveys is a voluntary activity and is not a substitute for reporting damage to your insurance agency. If does not guarantee disaster relief services.
Written by KOGT Radio