At least one person is confirmed dead after a tornado tore through Caddo Mounds State Park on Caddo Culture Day, an annual Native American heritage festival.
The festival offers attendees a chance to learn about the peoples who inhabited the area in pre-Columbian times. The festival features guided tours, dancing demonstrations and pottery making activities.
This year’s festival was scheduled for Saturday, despite the threat of severe weather moving through East Texas. As late as Friday, local media advertised the event.
On Saturday, as people gathered at the site, two separate storms hit the area, one at roughly 11:45 a.m. and the other at roughly 1:20 p.m.
So far, Alto police have confirmed at least 25 injuries, including some children.
Among the injuries was a young boy, who was blinded after a car crash during the storm.
Those injured were transported to the hospital via a school bus.
“We had a lot of people cooperating and everybody stayed in good spirits and calm it was very,” Jessica Mitchell, who was at the scene when the storm hit, said. “It was a very uplifting feeling I know this disaster and everything. Everybody really pulled together and made it out alive.”
A CBS19 crew on the scene says there were several overturned vehicles including a semi-truck and other cars.
Cherokee County County Judge Chris David confirmed one victim died Sunday morning.
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site will be closed until further notice due to the damage.