Weather

Tornadoes reported, high water across Houston region as severe storms move through

A tornado reportedly hit in the Deer Park and Pasadena area, according to officials. There was also damage from a reported tornado in Pearland.

  • A gas station near Spencer Hwy had its sign ripped off. (Photo Credit: Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)
    A gas station near Spencer Hwy had its sign ripped off. (Photo Credit: Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)
  • A gas station near Spencer Hwy had its sign ripped off. (Photo Credit: Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)
    A gas station near Spencer Hwy had its sign ripped off. (Photo Credit: Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)
  • A gas station near Spencer Hwy had its sign ripped off. (Photo Credit: Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)
    A gas station near Spencer Hwy had its sign ripped off. (Photo Credit: Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)
  • Outside of Carpenter Elementary in Deer Park. A tornado touched down in the area on January 24, 2023. (Photo Credit: Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)
    Outside of Carpenter Elementary in Deer Park. A tornado touched down in the area on January 24, 2023. (Photo Credit: Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)

Editor’s note: For day-after updates and news, click here to read our continuing coverage.

There were reports of tornadoes in the Houston area on Tuesday as a line of severe weather moved through the region in the afternoon.

A tornado reportedly hit in the Deer Park and Pasadena area, southeast of Houston, according to officials. The City of Pasadena said on its Twitter account that areas of damage included: Beltway 8 at Genoa Red Bluff, Fairmont Parkway at Mickey Gilley Boulevard and Burke at Crenshaw.

There were no immediate reports of any serious injuries or fatalities caused by the severe weather.

Deer Park resident Ashley Lucky said she was at work when a tornado passed near her home and threw her neighbor’s backyard trampoline onto another nearby property. She said there were downed fences, “trees everywhere” and a lack of electricity and cell phone service in the immediate area.

“I was told it sounded like a freight train by a few neighbors,” Lucky said. “I’m glad I wasn't home.”

The Pasadena Police Department said on Twitter that it had received reports of multiple downed power lines as well as overturned commercial trucks near Beltway 8 and its intersections with Fairmont Parkway and Vista Road.

“Tornadoes have winds as strong or stronger than a Category 4 or Category 5 hurricane,” Space City Weather editor Eric Berger said Tuesday on Town Square with Ernie Manouse. “Easily enough wind can develop to lift or roll (vehicles) and damage structures, take roofs off.”

The Atascocita Fire Department said it was sending its ambulance bus to a tornado-related structure collapse at the San Jacinto Manor nursing home in Deer Park.

There was also reports of a tornado that struck in Pearland. Footage from storm chasers showed damage.

Late Tuesday afternoon, after the storm had passed through, Lucky said residents in her Deer Park neighborhood already were helping each other clean up and make repairs.

“The community is coming together, though, and doing really awesome at getting everything cleared up,” Lucky said.

Shell Chemicals said on Twitter that it was flaring gas from its Deer Park facility because of a loss of on-site steam as a result of the storm. The company also said there were no indications that a tornado had touched down within the facility.

“There is no threat to the community,” Shell said. “… We are taking steps to minimize any noise, light, or smoke associated with the flaring activity, though it’s expected to continue until the units are restarted.”

Tuesday’s storm also produced structural and street flooding. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted in the afternoon that his deputies were assisting stranded motorists at multiple locations in the north and northwest parts of the county, which includes Houston.

There also were flooded roads in Fort Bend County, which is southwest of Houston, as well as in the Conroe and Woodlands areas north of the city, according to officials in Montgomery County.

The weather caused power outages across the region as storms moved from the west side of Greater Houston toward the east. More than 100,000 customers in the area had had their electricity service interrupted and restored by 3:40 p.m., according to CenterPoint Energy’s online outage tracker, while more than 102,000 residences remained without power as of 3:40 p.m.

Air travel was halted during the height of the severe weather for both incoming and outgoing flights at Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports. As of 4:30 p.m., flights into Hobby were being delayed about one hour on average, while delays for incoming flights to Bush were a little more than two hours on average.

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