Tornado wreaks significant damage across southeast Houston

Pasdena, Baytown and swathes of Deer Park near Beltway 8 were rocked by a fast-moving tornado on Tuesday. 

Photo of Brianna Griff
Downtown Houston was largely unscathed by Tuesday's severe weather. Residents southeast of town were not so lucky.

Downtown Houston was largely unscathed by Tuesday's severe weather. Residents southeast of town were not so lucky.

Matthew Kitchen / Chron

Severe weather brought at least one tornado to areas southeast of downtown Houston encompassing Pasadena, Baytown, portions of Beltway 8 and Deer Park. Houston is used to flooding and hurricanes, though tornados—while not unheard of—do not typically arrive and wreak the amount of damage such as that sustained by the region on Tuesday. The Houston area usually sees seven tornados a year, according to a Houston Chronicle report, but they are typically weaker EF-0 or EF-1 tornadoes with winds reaching a maximum of 110 mph.

As for Tuesday's events, no casualties have been reported at this time from the tornado touchdown, but reports are still rolling in. The following are reports of the known wreckage thus far:


KPRC 2's Bryce Newberry reported at 4 p.m. that fire crews and CenterPoint Energy personnel responded to a possible gas leak near a reported structure collapse caused by the tornado in Baytown.

"Flame is shooting from the ground in what appears to be a front yard," Newberry tweeted. "Trees are down and power is out in the Wooster neighborhood."

More downed power lines were seen by Sjolander Road in Baytown on Tuesday evening. Local police have cordoned off feeder roads in the area, according to video posted by those in the area.


The "large and destructive tornado" was seen over northwestern Pasadena, KPRC reported, moving northwest at 60 mph at 2:33 p.m. Pasadena Police Department posted on Twitter at 2:45 p.m. that a tornado had touched down on the city's southeast side, and that they were responding to calls.

The Pasadena Animal Shelter was destroyed by the storm, according to the Facebook post by Cypress Lucky Mutt Rescue. Volunteers are needed to provide a place for the shelter animals to stay.

Images of destruction include a bank drive-thru covered with debris and a home with its siding and roof torn off. 

The City of Pasadena has requested citizens to stay away from areas near Beltway 8 and Genoa Red Bluff, Fairmont Parkway and Mickey Gilley Boulevard and Burke at Crenshaw, which have been damaged by the tornado. Power lines are down around the city, according to the Pasadena Police Department, and commercial trucks have been reported to be overturned near Beltway 8.

Deer Park

Meteorologist and storm chaser Tim Reed ran after the severe weather to capture video of it, including this damage seen in Deer Park. 

A video was captured of a tractor-trailer that was thrown onto a highway barrier by a tornado near Deer Park.

The Atascocita Fire Department reported it had dispatched an ambulance bus to respond to a structural collapse at a nursing home facility at Deer Park's San Jacinto Manor.

A Shell chemical facility in Deer Park has also reported an unscheduled flaring event in connection to tornado's passage.  

As of 5:30 p.m. CT, the exact extent of damage caused by Tuesday's tornado and strong gusts of wind remains to be seen and a full measure of the day's casualties remains unknown.

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