Tornado Destroys Animal Shelter as Texas Storms Wreak Havoc Near Houston

A powerful storm on Tuesday afternoon ripped through southeast Texas, bringing with it at least one tornado that left a trail of damage and destroyed a local animal shelter.

According to a report from KPRC, a “large and destructive” tornado swept across southern Harris County, which includes the cities of Houston and Pasadena. The Pasadena Police Department also tweeted that they were “aware of a tornado touching down on the south east side of our city.”

A tornado touches down in Cordell, Oklahoma, on May 22, 1981. In the cutout, dogs are kept in cages at the Harris County Pets animal shelter on July 18, 2022, in Houston, Texas. On Tuesday, a destructive tornado touched down in Pasadena, Texas, just east of Houston, destroying the local animal shelter.
NOAA Photo Library/Getty; Brandon Bell/Getty

Among the buildings damaged by the twister include Pasadena Animal Shelter. A video posted by KHOU anchor Shern-Min Chow shows a large portion of the shelter’s roof ripped off from the storm.

KHOU reported that all the animals were “safe” despite the damage. According to a later tweet from Chow, around 70 animals were being moved from the destroyed shelter to a separate facility.

Other videos posted to social media on Tuesday showed extensive damage to Pasadena homes and buildings. KTRK reporter Brooke Taylor shared a video of a neighborhood covered in debris and tree limbs.

One clip shared by KHOU reporter Pat Cavlin showed what appears to be a metal building that was “leveled off” during the storm. According to the report, witnesses and police confirmed that no one was injured in the building’s collapse.

According to a report from The New York Times, meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Houston office said the tornado was the first on record for its agency. The NWS had also issued a tornado emergency for the area surrounding Pasadena around 2:30 p.m. CST, read the report.

The severe storms also brought heavy winds and potential for flooding in southeast Texas. According to the NWS advisory for the area, wind gusts could reach up to 40 mph.

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The severe weather system will continue moving east along the Gulf Coast through Tuesday evening, reported the Times. The NWS has issued a flash-flood warning for parts of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana, as well as a high-wind warning around southern Louisiana.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has also mobilized the state’s Division of Emergency Management. Large parts of northern Texas were under a winter advisory or winter- storm warning Tuesday afternoon, according to the NWS. The surrounding areas of Fort Worth and Dallas are expected to receive up to three inches of snow throughout the night, which could potentially cause slick spots for commuters Wednesday morning.

Newsweek has reached out to the Pasadena Animal Shelter for comment.