From Staff Reports
The National Weather Service confirmed three tornadoes touched down in East Texas and one in northwest Louisiana between late Friday and early Saturday as storms moving through the area caused massive power outages and caused deaths in the South and Midwest.
An EF-1 tornado touched down at 12:18 a.m. Saturday on a hillside southwest of FM 959 outside Tatum. Most of a group of a few hundred pine trees in an area struck had trunks snapped, according to the National Weather Service storm report.
The tornado crossed FM 959, where it then caused roof damage to several homes and outbuildings. The estimated peak winds of the tornado reached 110 mph as it carved a half-mile path in Panola County.
The Panola County tornado came 45 minutes after an EF-1 tornado in Nacogdoches County.
The tornado, which had maximum winds of 100 mph, knocked down a large tree onto a mobile home, killing one person and injuring another, the report showed.
A tornado in Shelby County touched down at 12:39 a.m. Saturday before cutting through neighborhoods on the south side of Center. According to the report, the tornado snapped trees, caused damage to homes and caused one injury because of pine tree that fell on a roof.
The strongest and most damaging of the tornadoes in the region touched down at 1:24 a.m. Saturday in Bossier City. The twister started just south of Barksdale Air Force Base. As it moved toward Haughton, it strengthened and destroyed two manufactured homes, killing two people and injuring a third.
Storm damage was seen across the Longview area, but Kilgore and Rusk County bore the brunt from the storms that roared through late Friday and early Saturday.
South Kilgore was hardest hit. Roofs were torn off buildings and pieces of wood and sheet metal ripped from structures still were scattered on roadsides early Sunday.
AEP-Southwestern Electric Power Co. had restored power by Sunday evening to all but two dozen of its customers in Northeast Texas, but about 1,500 customers in Louisiana were still waiting for the lights to come back on.
As in Northeast Texas and Northwest Louisiana, officials across the long path of the severe storms were assessing the damage while utility crews worked to restore power and cleanup and rebuilding continued.