000
NOUS44 KHGX 241635
PNSHGX
TXZ163-164-176>179-195>200-210>214-226-227-235>238-300-313-
335>338-436>438-250445-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
1135 AM CDT FRI APR 24 2020

...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR APRIL 22 2020 POLK COUNTY TORNADO EVENT...

RATING:                 EF3
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:    140 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:  32.31 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:   1100.0 YARDS
FATALITIES:             3
INJURIES:               33

START DATE:             04/22/2020
START TIME:             05:35 PM CDT
START LOCATION:         6 NNW POINT BLANK / SAN JACINTO COUNTY /
TX
START LAT/LON:          30.8283 / -95.2418

END DATE:               04/22/2020
END TIME:               06:15 PM CDT
END LOCATION:           6 WSW CHESTER / POLK COUNTY / TX
END LAT/LON:            30.8811 / -94.7046

SURVEY SUMMARY:
IT APPEARS THE TORNADO MAY HAVE STARTED VERY NEAR THE WATERWOOD
MARINA ON THE WEST SHORE OF LAKE LIVINGSTON, WHERE A COUPLE OF
TREES WERE BLOWN DOWN, OR OVER THE LAKE ITSELF. IT THEN
STRENGTHENED CONSIDERABLY AS IT MOVED ACROSS THE LAKE AND INTO THE
PARADISE ACRES AREA OF ONALASKA. WINDS POSSIBLY REACHED 140 MPH AS
THE STORM MOVED ACROSS THIS LOCATION, WHICH WAS THE ONLY EF3
DAMAGE THE NWS COULD CONFIRM ALONG THE 32 MILE TRACK. THE TORNADO
KILLED THREE AND INJURED 33 IN ONALASKA WITH 291 HOMES AFFECTED
AND 46 DESTROYED. IT WAS ESTIMATED TO BE ABOUT 500 YARDS WIDE AS
IT MOVED ACROSS THE TOWN. THE TORNADO CONTINUED A GENERAL EAST-
NORTHEASTWARD TRACK ACROSS RURAL POLK COUNTY WHERE IT SNAPPED AND 
UPROOTED NUMEROUS HARDWOOD AND SOFTWOOD TREES AND INTERMITTENTLY 
DAMAGED STRUCTURES. THE TORNADO PATH WAS MEASURED AT JUST OVER A 
HALF-MILE WIDE AS IT CROSSED HIGHWAY 59 NEAR SEVEN OAKS, WHERE EF2
DAMAGE WAS SURVEYED WITH DESTRUCTION OF TWO MOBILE HOMES AND 
DAMAGE TO HARDWOOD TREES. THE TORNADO REMAINED IN RURAL AREAS 
UNTIL IT ENDED VERY CLOSE TO BARNES IN NORTHEAST POLK COUNTY. NEAR
THE END OF THE TRACK, A LARGE TREE DESTROYED A MOBILE HOME AND 
MIRACULOUSLY JUST MISSED A MAN WHO WAS SITTING AT HIS COMPUTER. HE
WAS NOT SERIOUSLY INJURED.

FOR HISTORICAL CONTEXT, THIS WAS THE DEADLIEST SINGLE TORNADO FOR 
THE NWS HOUSTON-GALVESTON FORECAST AREA SINCE NOV 15TH, 1987 WHEN A 
TORNADO ALSO KILLED THREE IN MADISON COUNTY. THE DEADLIEST TORNADO 
ON RECORD FOR THIS AREA IS THE F4 IN GALVESTON WHICH KILLED 8 DURING 
HURRICANE CARLA IN 1961.  THIS IS ONLY THE 8TH MULTIPLE-FATALITY 
TORNADO FOR COUNTIES SERVED BY OUR OFFICE SINCE 1950.

EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE
FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH
EF5...VIOLENT...>200 MPH

NOTE:
THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS
STORM DATA.

$$

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