Tornado causes 'catastrophic' damage near Houston

A damaged home in Pasadena, Texas.
A damaged home in Pasadena, Texas. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

At least one tornado passed through areas southeast of downtown Houston on Tuesday, causing "catastrophic" damage in some places.

In Pasadena, the storm ripped roofs off of homes, downed power lines, and destroyed the city's animal shelter, leaving two dogs injured. "We've seen plenty of damage," Mayor Jeff Wagner told reporters. "We've seen buildings that have collapsed." Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger said in his 25 years in the city, "this is probably the worst damage I've seen," calling it "catastrophic." So far, one person in Pasadena has been reported injured.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted that his department had high-water rescue vehicles ready to go before Tuesday's storm hit, and sheriffs are "responding to a high number of stranded motorists." It's also been reported that several commercial trucks overturned near Beltway 8, and in Deer Park, 59 people were evacuated from the San Jacinto Manor nursing home, after a structural collapse.

Tornados are "not unheard of" in the Houston area, the Houston Chronicle writes, with about seven recorded annually, but they "do not typically arrive and wreak the amount of damage" seen on Tuesday.

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