National Weather Service survey finds tornado damage in Panola, Harrison counties

National Weather Service finds tornado damage in Panola, Harrison counties
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 2:25 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 10:47 PM CST
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PANOLA COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The National Weather Service was in East Texas on Wednesday surveying damage from Tuesday’s storms. They have determined an EF2 tornado touched down in northern Panola County just after 3:30, Tuesday afternoon. It then traveled nine miles into Harrison County where it left behind more damage.

The National Weather Service spent about two hours in East Texas surveying damage from Tuesday night’s storms. NWS meteorologist Charlie Woodrum said their findings indicate the tornado touched down at 3:38 Tuesday afternoon.

“It was on the ground until about 3:52. Right now that’s our preliminary data. It looks like it had a 9.1 mile track there, from Panola County into Harrison County,” Woodrum said.

The tornado did extensive tree damage in northern Panola County where it snapped and uprooted almost 200 softwood trees. Woodrum said this was also its widest point, at 460 yards. It then continued into Harrison County.

“The final point that we found of damage in Harrison County, there was a two-story home that had most of its roof removed,” he said. “That was some of the more extensive structural damage with the tornado.”

The worst of the winds were in Panola County, reaching 115 miles per hour. Woodrum said they had lots of data to indicate this was a tornado that came through and not just high winds.

“We had radar data with a tornadic debris signature that shows debris lofted up in the air to confirm a tornado was on the ground. We also had storm chaser footage confirming that a tornado was on the ground,” Woodrum siad. “Then when we went and looked at the damage, we could see the trees down in a convergent pattern with lots of snaps, also indicating that a tornado had occurred.”

The National Weather Service confirmed Wednesday damage they have found in Panola County is consistent with that of a tornado.

Their survey team found damage in northern Panola County, southwest of Elysian Fields and west and northwest of De Berry. It indicated an EF2 tornado with estimated winds of 115 mph.

Preliminary findings show the tornado touched down at 3:38 p.m. Tuesday in the northern part of Panola County and caused extensive tree damage. This is where it is believed the highest wind speeds of 115 mph were felt. The tornado’s widest point was in Panola County measuring 460 yards wide.

The tornado continued into Harrison County where there was mostly tree damage and a little bit of roof damage to homes.

The final point of damage that they found in Harrison County was at a two-story home that had most of its roof torn off. Woodrum said that was some of the more extensive structural damage.

Preliminary findings indicate the tornado lifted at 3:52 p.m. and had a total path length of nine miles.