Governor, city officials: 4 dead, 2 people missing, more than 5K homes, businesses damaged in storm

UPDATE: Press conference on storm damage in Van Zandt
Published: Apr. 30, 2017 at 10:34 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 30, 2017 at 11:12 PM CDT
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VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - More than 5,000 businesses and homes were impacted by Saturday storms that left at least four dead, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Sunday.

The governor spoke during a press conference in Canton about emergency officials top priorities, including rescue and recovery.

Abbott displayed a map showing the path of the tornadoes. Blue dots were marked on the map, indicating addresses where the storm hit.

"I've seen the tragedy of what these tornadoes can do. ... We as Texans ... we've come together to respond to challenges like this to help our neighbors. Now is the time to come together," the governor said.

Abbott encouraged people wanting to help to donate strategically, saying a monetary donation might be best. The county judge is expected to provide a location later today to send financial aid. The EMS Station in Canton at 600 Industrial is a location where goods may be dropped off.

The affected area is under a curfew from dusk to dawn, according to the Van Zandt County judge, but the Canton mayor said that the city of Canton proper will not be under a curfew.

The mayor of Canton said that four people have been confirmed dead and that two people were still unaccounted for.

Forty-nine people were taken to area hospitals and a triage remains open at Canton High School band hall.

There will be a curfew for affected areas in the county. It will not include the city of Canton, officials said.

WATCH LIVE: Press conference for Sunday afternoon tornado damage update

At least four people were killed and ETMC says they have treated more than 50 people after Saturday tornadoes in Van Zandt County.

At a Canton Dodge dealership, a woman was found deceased. She is believed to have been in a vehicle on I-20.

Off of Hwy 64 east of Canton, a man was found deceased in a pasture. 

A Corsicana man died in a detached garage outside a mansion after the race car he was working on fell on him when the tornado hit. He was pronounced dead by a justice of the peace at 11 p.m. The JP said that this home was the scene of a wedding that had been planned for later in the evening, which, of course, did not occur.

A man died after he was blown from his home on VZ CR 2434. His wife, who was sitting in a chair beside him at the time, was treated and released from a hospital with stitches and bruises.

During a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Canton Mayor Lou Ann Everett said that at least four fatalities have been confirmed. 49 injured people were taken to area hospitals, 16 of which were triaged at Canton High school, she said.

County Judge Don Kirkpatrick said that search and rescue teams with K9s are going door to door in the area. He said that since first responders are still in the recovery stage, so volunteers are not being allowed in the area Sunday, though they are grateful for the willing people. Volunteers are going to be needed soon, however, he added.

7OnScene: Tracking storm damage across East Texas

National Weather Service: 4 confirmed tornadoes hit East Texas, survey could take days

Search and recovery was hindered on Saturday night by downed trees and power lines. More intensive efforts got underway at daybreak on Sunday.

Mayor Everett said that the storm report she has received said the damage area is 35 miles wide, and 15 miles wide. She said that she signed a disaster declaration for Canton, and that she has been contacted by the state representative, state senator and other elected officials. 

Everett said that Oncor is onsite, and staging at Walmart. There are at least 30 crews in the area. The hope is that power will be restored by midnight, but they will know more as the day progresses. Five major transformer poles were downed, she said, and some of those are difficult to access, so repairs could take time.


Eustace and Fruitvale independent school districts have canceled classes Monday. Eustace says classes will resume Tuesday. The high school library pit will be open for people to charge their devices.

Karen Wilson, district clerk for Van Zandt County said jury duty has been canceled Monday for the 294th District Court.

Oncor stresses that people should not attempt to cut branches or trees at this time, as downed lines could still be electrified. 

Everett said that the Trade Days grounds in Canton were not hit, but experienced some flooding, which has largely receded. She stressed people stay away from Canton, as the vendors are gone and no one will be allowed to enter.

Everett said she plans to continue monitoring the situation and another press conference will be held at approximately 3 p.m.

The FAA has restricted airspace over the Canton area temporarily due to disaster relief efforts.


Judge Kirkpatrick said that a shelter has been set up at 1st United Methodist Church in Canton. Also, those who have pets that need a safe place to be can take them to Sears Home Store, which is an animal shelter during this event.

He said that there are gas leaks, fences down, livestock out, power lines down, and other issues that will make traveling unsafe in Canton. He asked that everyone stay away from the area Sunday.

Also, Kirkpatrick and Everett said that water conservation is required, until power is restored.

Power outages, road closures in East Texas after Saturday storms


As of 6 a.m. on Sunday, April 30 the numbers for patients for ETMC hospitals from the Canton and Eustace tornadoes were as follows:

  • ETMC Tyler patients: 2- critical condition, 1-fair condition, 1-good condition, 5- treated and released
  • ETMC Athens: 36 total patients, 2 are in fair condition.

The rest treated and released or transferred to ETMC Tyler.

  • ETMC Cedar Creek Lake: 11 patients- treated/released

They say the total number of those treated from tornadoes is 56.

  • ETMC says 6 are still hospitalized and 2 of those are critical.

The current death toll still stands at four. We will update this as information becomes available.

This is a developing story, stay with KLTV.COM for more updates.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Fort Worth confirmed that they will send a survey team to Canton Sunday and likely on Monday, as well.
The NWS in Shreveport will send a team to the Mineola area on Monday.

The Red Cross has also set up a website to help people who are looking for loved ones or if you want to let loved ones know you are safe and well. Click here to see the website.


+Eustace homes destroyed, family members hospitalized
+IMAGES: Storms damages across ETX
+Red Cross opens shelter for those affected in East Texas storms
+Officials: 4 dead during weekend storms, casualties may increase
+Power outages in East Texas after Saturday storms

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