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Deadly Tornadoes Sweep Through Texas, Florida

Tornadoes wreaked havoc across the South on Thursday night, resulting in the tragic loss of at least four lives and leaving dozens injured, according to officials.

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Escambia County Fire Rescue confirmed that one person in Pensacola, Florida, lost their life after a tornado caused a tree to collapse onto their home.

Tornadoes Rips through Texas

In the small town of Perryton, Texas, near the Oklahoma state line, three fatalities were reported, along with extensive damage to homes and communication towers. Ochiltree County Sheriff Terry Bouchard identified the victims as Becky Randall, a woman in her 60s discovered in a print shop; Cindy Bransgrove, also in her 60s, found in a food bank; and Matthew Ramirez, an 11-year-old boy located in a trailer park. Additionally, 56 individuals in Perryton sustained injuries, while one person, 64-year-old Ruben Villegas, remains missing, according to Sheriff Bouchard.

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Xcel Energy, the electric utility and natural gas delivery company, stated that Perryton is currently without power. Crews from the company are working to remove fallen power lines obstructing roads and assess potential damage at the main substation in town. One of the three main transmission feeds into the city appears to be undamaged but has been deenergized for safety precautions.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to deploy state emergency response resources to address the urgent life-safety needs in Perryton. Governor Abbott emphasized the state’s commitment to swiftly providing support and assistance to protect residents affected by the tornadoes.

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Ochiltree General Hospital, the local healthcare facility serving Perryton, is currently facing power outages. Debbie Beck, the hospital’s chief financial officer, stated that the facility has treated approximately 50 to 100 patients for injuries related to the tornadoes.

The severe weather extended beyond Perryton, with weather alerts including tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm watches spanning across the South. Georgia and Alabama were hit with heavy rainfall and experienced instances of flooding.

As the affected communities grapple with the aftermath of the destructive tornadoes, local and state authorities are urging residents to heed the guidance of officials and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and that of their loved ones. The severity of the weather event remains a priority, and additional resources will be made available if required.