Jasper County issues disaster declaration in wake of severe storms, tornado

Jasper County issues disaster declaration in wake of severe storms, tornado
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

JASPER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - In the wake of the EF-1 tornado that touched down between Magnolia Springs and Jasper Wednesday and the severe storms that hit the area, Jasper County Judge Mark Allen issued a disaster declaration Friday morning.

The declaration states that on Wednesday, the county was "in imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from county-wide conditions created by torrential rainfall and severe thunderstorms with high-speed winds, hail and tornadic activity over an excessive period of time."

In addition, the declaration states that the severe weather caused flooding, wind damage, major infrastructure damage, and flooding on roads that blocked access to them or prevented safe passage on them.

The disaster declaration is set to expire in a week.

On Thursday, crews from the National Weather Service Office in Shreveport went out into Jasper, Newton, and Tyler counties to do damage surveys. They determined from the damage left behind in the wake of the thunderstorms that rumbled through the area that four EF-1 tornadoes hit Jasper, Newton, and Tyler counties Wednesday.

According to their findings, all four tornadoes had wind speeds estimated between 90 and 110 miles per hour, which corresponds to an EF-1 rating on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.

Two of the twisters touched down in Tyler County, one in the town of Ivanhoe and the other in Hillister. Another tornado touched down in Jasper County, between Magnolia Springs and Jasper near Zion Hill. The fourth and last tornado touchdown took place in Newton County near Farrsville, centered right along State Highway 63.

The NWS survey showed that the Zion Hill tornado had wind speeds that reached a peak speed of 105 mph. The tornado's path was 0.4 miles long and 25 yards wide. Several trees were snapped or blown down along FM 1005 near the intersection with U.S. Highway 96.

The storm system also blew down trees in Jasper and caused flooding on some of the streets in the City of Jasper.

No one was injured when the four tornadoes touched down.

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