At least three people have been killed after a devastating tornado tore through a Texas Panhandle town on Thursday, destroying trailer homes, downing communications towers and plunging the entire community into darkness.
The National Weather Service in Amarillo confirmed that a tornado hit Perryton on Thursday afternoon, which is home to more than 8,000 people and is located just south of the Oklahoma border.
One person was killed when a mobile home park took a “direct hit” from a tornado, Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher told reporters.
Two other victims are also confirmed dead while between 75 and 100 people were being treated for injuries ranging from minor to severe.
The catastrophic storm wiped out power for the entire town, including a major hospital receiving residents wounded in the chaos.
More than 224,000 customers were still without power in Texas as of around 3.30am local time on Friday morning, according to the poweroutage.us website. In Ochiltree County – home to Perryton – a staggering 91 percent (8,910 of 9,775) of customers were without power.
Governor Greg Abbott has directed state emergency response resources to assist the hard-hit town.
Panhandle town of Perryton battered by tornadoes
Three victims killed including one whose trailer home took a ‘direct hit’ from storm
Up to 100 people injured
Greg Abbott directs state emergency response resources to assist town
Where is Perryton, Texas?
More severe weather to hit Perryton
16:00 , Ariana Baio
After a tornado ravaged the city of Perryton, Texas – more severe weather may be in store as the state experiences intense heat.
The National Weather Service said the area could face thunderstorms on Friday (June 16) afternoon across the Texas Panhandle.
“A few storms may become severe, with large hail and damaging winds with the primary hazards.”
Through the weekend and next week, the area is expected to face storms that could be severe with the possibility of isolated tornadoes.
Where is Perryton, Texas?
3:30 p.m , Ariana Baio
Perryton, Texas is a city located in the north Panhandle approximately 10 miles from Oklahoma.
The closest major city is Amarillo which is approximately 90 miles from Perryton.
More than 200 homes destroyed in Perryton
2:30 p.m , Ariana Baio
Footage posted on social media shows the devastating impact of the deadly tornado that hit Perryton, Texas on Thursday (15 June) evening.
Over 200 homes are estimated to be destroyed in the town, including the Perryton Firehouse.
Perryton fire department firehouse destroyed
14:00 , Ariana Baio
The Perryton Fire Department and EMS said in a Facebook post that their firehouse had been completely destroyed in the tornado but that the EMS’s trucks and ambulances were driveable.
“Tornado on ground for at least 1 mile and 1/4 mile wide!” they wrote. “The Fire Department took a direct hit, our trucks and ambulances are driveable.”
Photos of the area where the firehouse once stood show flattened land with some of the structures remaining with extensive damage.
Perryton Fire and EMS wrote: ”We have a lot of work in the days ahead to heal our community! A HUGE thanks to all the first responders from out of 3 state areas that came to assist!”
Perryton hospital offers services to those injured in a tornado
13:30 , Ariana Baio
Ochiltree General Hospital, a local hospital in Perryton, Texas, has posted on its Facebook page offering medical services to people injured in the devastating tornado that ripped through the city.
“If you need medical treatment, we are here. We are staffed, we have supplies, we have room,” Ochiltree wrote.
The hospital said they had oxygen available for people in need of it and residents invited to walk in and request oxygen from the hospital’s respiratory team.
WATCH: Texas tornado captured crossing through Perryton by locals
13:00 , Rachel Sharp
Shocking video captures damage
12:40 , Rachel Sharp
IN PICTURES: Destruction caused by a tornado in Perryton
12:20 , Rachel Sharp
Texas Governor Greg Abbott directs emergency
12:00 , Rachel Sharp
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has directed state emergency response resources to assist the hard-hit town.
“The State of Texas is swiftly deploying critical emergency response resources to provide all necessary support and assistance to protect Texans and help those impacted by tornadoes in Perryton,” the governor announced in a statement.
“I encourage all Texans to heed the guidance of the state and local officials and to take all necessary precautions to protect yourselves and your loved ones.
“We remain ready to quickly provide any additional resources needed over the course of this severe weather event.”
Thousands of Texans without power
11:40 , Rachel Sharp
More than 224,000 customers were without power in Texas as of around 3.30am CT local time on Friday morning, according to the poweroutage.us website.
In Ochiltree County – home to Perryton – a staggering 91 percent (8,910 of 9,775) of customers were without power.
Xcel Energy told ABC News late on Thursday night that there was no power at all to Perryton.
“Our crews are arriving at the site and are assisting in removing lines from cars and across the roads. We are patrolling the transmission feeds into the city and also assessing possible damage to the main substation in the city,” Xcel Energy said in a statement.
“One of the three main transmission feeds into the city was apparently undamaged, but we deenergized it for safety reasons.”
Texas lawmaker Ronny Jackson comments on the Perryton tornado
11:20 , Rachel Sharp
“Jane & I are praying for the people of Perryton tonight. I am in contact with Major Symons and this tragedy is being closely monitored by myself and my whole staff. Please tune into KXDJ for updates,” he tweeted.
Storm chaser describes witnessing storm
11:00 , Rachel Sharp
Storm chaser Brian Emfinger told Fox Weather that he watched the twister move through a mobile home park, mangling trailers and uprooting trees.
“I’ve seen the tornado do some pretty serious destruction to the industrial part of town,” he said.
“Unfortunately, just west of there, there is just a mobile home, after the mobile home, after the mobile home that is completely destroyed. There is significant damage.”
First responders travel from Oklahoma to help Perryton
10:45 , Rachel Sharp
First responders from surrounding areas and from Oklahoma descended on the town of Perryton, after which it was hammered by a tornado on Thursday.
Perryton is home to more than 8,000 people and about 115 miles (185 kilometers) northeast of Amarillo, just south of the Oklahoma line.
Keith Shadden of the Beaver County, Oklahoma, Emergency Manager told CNN that the county had sent fire, law enforcement and EMS units across the state border to Perryton.
He said they plan to send further assistance when the weather improves.
Help has also been poured in from the city of Stinnett, Texas, the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office, the Borger Police Department, Booker Fire Department and the City of Fritch.
At least three people killed in the storm
10:30 , Rachel Sharp
Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher told reporters that three people had so far been confirmed dead from the storm.
One of the victims was killed when the mobile home park they lived in took a “direct hit” from a tornado, he said.
As rescue teams search for survivors in the rubble, at least 30 trailers were said to be damaged or destroyed.
Around 100 other people are believed to have been injured in the storm, with injuries ranging from minor to severe with many being transferred to trauma centers, the fire chief said.
WATCH: Tornadoes devastates the town of Perryton
10:20 , Rachel Sharp
Full story: Devastating tornado rips through Texas leaving at least three dead, two missing and dozens more injured
10:14 , Rachel Sharp
A devastating tornado has ripped through Texas leaving at least three dead, two missing and dozens more injured.
The Lone Star State was pummeled by a series of severe storms on Thursday, destroying trailer homes and downing communications towers.
As thousands of homes – and a major hospital – were left without power and residents were afraid of missing in the rubble, Governor Greg Abbott directed state emergency response resources to the hard-hit Panhandle town of Perryton.
Read the full story:
Deadly tornado rips through Texas killing three and injuring dozens more
Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog
10:12 , Rachel Sharp
Follow for updates on the tornado which battered the Texas Panhandle town of Perryton on Thursday.