Several Injured; No Fatalities
An apparent tornado touched down in a small Southeast Texas town, damaging a hospital, derailing 25 cars of a freight train and injuring eight people in a high school parking lot.
The storm touched down about 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Weimar, a town of about 2,200 residents 85 miles west of Houston. City Emergency Management Coordinator Charles Rogers says the eight injured were working in a trailer preparing food for a fundraiser at Weimar High School. He said their injuries didn't appear to be life-threatening.
Rogers said the school and a hospital suffered roof damage, forcing 10 patients to be moved to other hospitals.
The storm winds also toppled 25 cars of a Union Pacific freight train. Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza says none of the crew was injured.
Meanwhile in Houston the National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Watch ahead of storms that are expected to produce heavy rain in the area.
The Harris County Flood Control District's Flood Watch team will be monitoring rainfall trends resulting from forecasted thunderstorms through Saturday. The team is checking the gages that measure rainfall amounts and water levels in bayous and creeks and will continue to do so over the next several days.
With heavy rainfall comes the threat of flooding, so it is important for Harris County residents to be aware of conditions near their workplaces, schools and homes. The Flood Control District urges all residents to monitor rainfall and bayou water levels on its Flood Warning System website. The District’s Flood Watch team constantly monitors the data and works during severe weather events to advise the public and local officials of areas that are and could be affected by flooding.
With the severe weather headed towards Houston please keep these tips in mind:
-Secure valuables and important documents.
-Avoid driving, if possible. If you must venture out, avoid driving into water of unknown depth. Moving water can quickly sweep you and your vehicle away.
-Restrict children from playing in flooded areas.
-Remain in your home during the storm unless instructed to evacuate by local officials.
-Have a flood insurance policy. For information on flood insurance, visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at or call 1-888-379-9531.
-Know your home’s risk of flooding.
-You can view a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM or floodplain map) at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Map Service Center or refer to the Flood Control District website.