CHEROKEE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -An update from the National Weather Service Office in Shreveport states that a total of three tornadoes hit Cherokee County when a line of storms moved through Deep East Texas Saturday.
Previous damage surveys done by the NWS indicated that two tornadoes struck Cherokee County in the Alto area during the storms.
The third tornado in Cherokee County brings the East Texas total for Saturday up to six.
According to the NWS update, two tornadoes hit Cherokee County with the first storm track, and a third tornado touched down as part of the second storm track.
The two tornadoes that struck Cherokee County during the first storm track were both EF-2 tornadoes with estimated peak winds of 120 mph.
The first one went .8 miles, and its track got up to 400 yards in width. The second tornado traveled 2.5 miles, and its maximum width was 400 yards.
The same storm that produced tornado No. 1 lifted as a funnel cloud for approximately five miles and then dropped again, counting as a second tornado on the southern edges of Alto,” the NSW update stated.
The update stated that if a tornado lifts up for more than two miles and then touches down again, it is classified as another tornado, and that is what happened in the Alto area.
“In addition, the damage tracks of two tornadoes crossed very near the Alto ISD, with several structures noting damage from both tornadoes,” the updated stated. “With this rare occurrence of two tornadoes crossing paths and hitting the same town in the same day, it made it difficult to decipher damage which occurred from the first tornado with damage that occurred from the second tornado.”
The NWS indicated that the third tornado that struck Cherokee County in the Alto area was an EF-3 with peak winds of up to 160 mph. It tracked 29.4 miles, and its maximum width was 880 yards.
To help the victims of these storms, click here to donate to either the American Red Cross or the East Texas Food Bank. Both agencies are working daily in these storm-impacted areas of East Texas.