The NWS said the storm was extremely dangerous and urged residents to take cover immediately.
SEVEN OAKS, Texas — A large tornado reportedly touched down in Polk County on Wednesday, causing widespread damage.
The twister was considered “extremely dangerous,” according to the National Weather Service. It was located over Seven Oaks, which is about 9 miles north of Livingston. It was moving east at 45 mph.
Officials had warned residents in the area to take cover immediately.
Officials with the Texas Department of Transportation said the tornado also struck a subdivision near Onalaska called Yaupon Cove.
TxDOT officials said some people may be trapped inside their homes due to the damage, but there have been no official reports.
Some photos that were taken near Onalaska High School show substantial storm damage. Amanda Price said her brother-in-law noticed that the pressure felt off and held onto the laundry door as the storm blew the back door off of his house. Price said he lives on Vince Drive in Onalaska.
FM 356 in Onalaska was shut down due to storm damage. Officials warned people to avoid the area.
An area power company said about 9,000 people were left without power after several transmission lines were damaged. The company also said the tornado caused extreme damage to power lines in the area and it’s unclear how long it will take to make the repairs.
The Polk County Emergency Operations Center has been activated. Shelters at the Onalaska junior and senior high schools are in the process of opening for those needing emergency shelter.
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