AgriLife Extension responds to tornado aftermath

CANTON – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agents, and volunteers are assessing the damage caused by multiple tornadoes in East Texas near Canton April 29.

AgriLife Extension mobilized emergency responses to affected areas in Henderson, Smith, Van Zandt, Rains and Wood counties following multiple confirmed tornadoes, high winds and flooding.

Van Zandt County, especially the Canton area, was hardest hit by the storm system, according to media reports. There were four confirmed deaths and dozens of people injured during the storm.

Tommy Phillips, AgriLife Extension agent, Van Zandt County, said the area is recovering from four tornadoes confirmed by the National Weather Service.

Preliminary reports by the weather service indicate two EF 3 tornadoes, with winds between 136-165 mph, and two EF 0 tornadoes, with winds 65-85 mph, caused widespread damage in those counties. One EF 3 tornado’s path was 51 miles long.

Phillips said efforts April 30 revolved around searching for and rescuing residents and clearing debris from roadways. On May 1, he said there were intermittent reports about agricultural damages, such as crop and livestock losses, but those losses were not a top concern for people in the area.

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Groesbeck Journal! You can also subscribe online or call 254-729-5103.

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