By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette issued a disaster declaration following a possible tornado on Sunday night.
Blanchette issued and signed the proclamation on Monday, May 20, and it cites the “threat of damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from conditions created by a potential tornado over an excessive period of time.”
On Monday, the National Weather Service in Lake Charles confirmed that eight tornadoes had swept across southeast Texas and the southwestern region of Louisiana as part of a storm system early Sunday morning.
“As Tyler County Judge, I have determined, based upon trajectory reports issued by the National Weather Service and the Texas State Operations Center that extraordinary measures must be taken to protect life,” the proclamation states.
Weather radar reports on Sunday morning indicated a tornado moving northeast of Spurger at a rate of 25 mph. A warning was issued for Tyler and Jasper counties. There is no information at press time on damages incurred by the tornado.
A total of 14 tornadoes were confirmed in west Texas and in parts of Oklahoma on Monday night, with at least two of them “large and extremely dangerous,” according to the National Weather Service.
Flooding in populated areas and infrastructure damage are two of the factors Blanchette noted in his declaration; that measures may have to be taken to protect or rehabilitate property.
The disaster declaration, pursuant to Section 418.108(b) in the Texas Government Code, shall continue for a length of time no longer than seven days from the issuance of the declaration unless it is continued or renewed by the commissioners court. The declaration also activates the Tyler County Emergency Management Plan.