Softball-sized hail and tornadoes rip west Texas killing four people

Wednesday night, an outbreak of tornadoes in west Texas resulted in the tragic deaths of four people, nine injured, and significant damage to the town of Matador, located near the Texas Panhandle.

Brandon Moore, Matador’s water superintendent and volunteer firefighter, said there were two minutes of warning to get everyone to safety, but some still did not manage to escape from their homes.

softball-sized hail, 109 mph (175 kph) winds, and a 97 mph (156 kph) wind gust recorded at Bush International Airport in Houston combined to create a deadly force which left a 1-mile stretch of the west side of Matador demolished.

The storm reportedly left more than 900 customers in the Matador and Jayton areas without power, and there were over 133,000 customers left without electricity in the Houston area on Thursday.

Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing, and people across Texas and beyond are helping the city of Matador recover from the extraordinary event.

Many are looking back six days to when a separate tornado left three people dead and more than 100 injured in Perryton in the northern Texas Panhandle. Wednesday’s storm even caused damage in the Denver area at Red Rocks Amphitheater during a hail storm which landed seven people in the hospital.