San Augustine tornado damage
TYLER, Texas — Storms moved through East Texas overnight Wednesday into Thursday, causing flooding and major, damage particularly in the San Augustine area.
The National Weather Service is investigating a 150-mile stretch between San Augustine County and Union Parrish in Louisiana.
According to the preliminary investigation, the NWS says an EF-2 tornado hit in San Augustine. Fortunately, there have been no reports of injuries or fatalities.
In addition to this, a EF-3 tornado hit Ruston, LA where two people were confirmed dead. A third tornado, measured as an EF-1, hit Mooringsport, LA.
An EF-1 tornado also hit Shelby County near Huxley. This tornado had a peak wind of 105 mph and touched down near the Toledo Bend Reservoir. No damage to structures was reported.
It was a different story in San Augustine, where the San Augustine Inn at the intersection of US 96 and SH 21 was damaged by a possible tornado.
An large tower on US 96 and SH 21 collapsed onto the electrical relay station. Crews are on the scene to pull the tower from the station.
Peaceful Meadows Mobile Home Park near FM 1277 just west of San Augustine received significant damage from the storm. One home was split in half by a falling tree. Another home was blown off its base.
San Augustine ISD has canceled classes for Thursday and Friday due to power outages and storm damage.
Authorities set up a command center at the John W. Mitchell Law Enforcement Center in San Augustine.
Higginbotham Air Conditioning and Appliance Repair is providing free food at the command center. They will offer food until supplies run out.
The American Red Cross of Deep East Texas has deployed a team to the area to assist with the recovery efforts. Tammy Prater with the American Red Cross of Northeast Texas says their team has offered assistance and are waiting to hear if their services are needed.
The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief is sending volunteers to areas hit by the tornadoes, including San Augustine, to help with relief.
“We are ready to provide help, hope, and healing to these communities,” said Scottie Stice, SBTC disaster relief director. “Our recovery teams will be able to help homeowners clean up from these storms, and our chaplains will be on available to minister to folks. We are praying for everyone affected.”
Imogene’s Cafe on East Columbia Street is offering free meals to first responders, line workers and residents who were displaced by the storm.
The San Augustine Sheriff's Office says they are in need of tarps. If you have any tarps to donate, you can drop them off directly at the sheriff's office.
The Texas Department of Transportation says several areas in and around San Augustine have damage from trees and power lines across the roadways.
Per TxDOT, SH 21 East and US 96 in San Augustine will be closed to traffic immediately as emergency responders work to clear debris and restore power to the area. Traffic will be detoured downtown to SH 147 until further notice. Motorists are advised to stay clear of damaged areas and refrain from stopping and taking photos or videos through the area where workers and equipment are present.