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At least 3 people killed after strong tornado hits Matador, Texas

The storm, which the National Weather Service said most likely produced a tornado, also caused a “whole lot of damage” in Matador, the mayor of the northern Texas town said.

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On Wednesday night, a formidable storm ravaged the town of Matador in northern Texas, resulting in the tragic loss of at least three lives, substantial damage to around twelve structures, and necessitating a search for individuals who may have been injured or trapped under debris, according to authorities.

Matador, home to approximately 600 residents, is situated approximately 290 miles northwest of Dallas. As the storm surged through the region around 8 p.m., it triggered a tornado warning, as reported by William Iwasko, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Lubbock.

According to William Iwasko, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Lubbock, “based on the damage,” it is highly probable that a tornado occurred in Matador. However, an official confirmation will be made on Thursday.

Matador’s mayor, Pat Smith, who is also involved in providing emergency medical services, shared in a short phone interview that at least three individuals lost their lives, while others may have sustained injuries. Additionally, Mayor Smith emphasized the extensive damage inflicted upon the town, describing it as significant.

The mayor noted that a widespread power outage affected the entire town, which serves as the county seat of Motley County. Towards the western part of Matador, numerous businesses and residences were obliterated, stated Mr. Smith.

He further mentioned that rescue personnel successfully extricated residents from collapsed houses. As emergency crews could be heard giving instructions in the background, Mayor Smith expressed the severity of the situation, describing it as extremely dire.

On Wednesday night, an advancing storm system brought forth thunderstorms in the region, prompting the Weather Service to release warnings about potential hail and tornadoes in the northern areas of Texas.

This occurrence unfolded less than a week after another Texas town, Perryton, was ravaged by a tornado, resulting in three fatalities and extensive damage to numerous mobile homes.

That tornado was part of a series of fierce storms that swept across the Southern states the previous week.

Concurrently, in Matador, the storm materialized while a heat dome persisted over significant portions of Oklahoma and Texas. Texas officials issued an excessive heat warning for the Dallas-Fort Worth region and urged residents across the state to conserve electricity due to concerns that the power grid could become overwhelmed during several consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures.


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