Severe weather causes destruction in southeast Texas


(NEW YORK) -- Severe weather caused significant damage across southeast Texas on Tuesday amid a tornado outbreak in the Gulf Coast region.

Southeast Houston reported its first tornado emergency on record. A high-end EF-2 tornado swept through the area with winds up to 135 mph.

A "large and destructive" tornado was confirmed moving over Deer Park, in the Houston metro region, around 2:30 p.m. local time, the National Weather Service said.

The agency later warned of a "large and extremely dangerous tornado" that was confirmed over Pinehurst, near the Texas-Louisiana border, around 4:30 p.m.

Several communities in the Houston region were conducting rescues and surveying damage as the storm moved through the area.

Pasadena officials said 911 call centers were inundated, with reports of building collapses, gas leaks and downed power lines.

At least one non-life-threatening injury was reported, which was "unbelievable" considering the "amount of damage," Pasadena Fire Chief Lanny Armstrong said during a press briefing.

Bayville officials reported several building collapses and a structure fire Tuesday afternoon. Multiple power lines were also downed and at least one home was damaged, officials said.

There were 18 reported tornadoes across three states -- Texas, Louisiana and Florida -- on Tuesday.

The same storm system is now bringing heavy snow to the Midwest and Northeast. Twenty-two states are on alert for snow and wind.

ABC News' Melissa Griffin contributed to this report.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at 2:49PM by Meredith Deliso, ABC News Permalink