Tornadoes made landfall in Jefferson, Orange County on Tuesday

At least two tornadoes made landfall in southeast Texas and thousands of residents were left without power Tuesday afternoon after a storm line ripped through the area ahead of a cold front.

Tornadoes were confirmed in central Jefferson County — north of the Taylor Landing Area — and northwest of Orange around 4 and 4:35 p.m., respectively.

“We really can’t tell the intensity or width of the tornado just from radar,” Jones said of the Orange County tornado shortly after it made landfall. “We won’t know for sure until we actually send out a storm survey team. What we can confirm is that there is a tornado on the ground because we are seeing debris actually being thrown into the air.”

Most of the damage was reported in Orange County, where Judge John Gothia said crews were assessing the damage after the storm cleared the area and through Tuesday night.

Due to the weather, several schools throughout Southeast Texas postponed their scheduled Tuesday night sporting events.

Beaumont United and Westbrook have postponed all boys’ and girls’ football games to Wednesday.

The following schools have moved all sports to Wednesdays:



Port Arthur Monument

Hamshire Fannett


West Orange Strong

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Little Cypress Mauriceville

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“We have several houses that have taken serious damage and many houses that have taken moderate damage,” Gothia said. “(There are) a lot of trees, power lines, things like that.”

Gothia did not say if any of the houses were uninhabitable. However, he said no shelter was opened in response to the damage.

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Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said the only significant damage brought to his attention in his county was an overturned truck on Texas 73.

Further information on the intensity of the tornadoes was not known on Tuesday evening. However, early reports paled in comparison to those from the Houston area, which experienced the same thunderstorm line just hours off Southeast Texas. Parts of southeast Houston reported significant damage Tuesday night after a tornado tore through Pasadena, Baytown, portions of Beltway 8 and Deer Park, requiring a Red Cross response and the opening of at least one animal shelter in the area.

Even so, more than 20,000 residents — 3,250 in Jefferson County and 17,265 in Orange County — were without power as of Tuesday night, according to Entergy Texas’ outage map. That number dropped from a population of 25,000 after just a few hours as crews worked to restore power soon after the storms cleared the area.

Entergy expected to restore power to the majority of Southeast Texas residents by 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Ultimately, towns in Jefferson, Hardin and Orange counties were given tornado warnings between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m

Severe thunderstorm warnings for winds of 60mph and pea-sized hail and flash flooding warnings were also scattered across the area.

As warnings for southeast Texas ended, severe weather and tornadoes were pouring into Louisiana, according to National Weather Service radars.

More than three dozen school districts, universities, colleges and academies that released students early on Tuesday are expected to resume classes at normal times on Wednesday. Many school activities that have been postponed due to the threat of inclement weather are expected to take place on Wednesday, including Beaumont ISD’s Beaumont United and West Brook football games for boys and girls.

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