Governor Abbott Addresses Tornado Damage in East Texas
Governor Abbott attended a second Press Conference hosted by Officials in Van Zandt County on Sunday afternoon updating the public on the continued search and rescue efforts following the deadly tornado outbreak last night.
Governor Abbott thanked county officials from Henderson, Rains and Van Zandt County, in addition to elected state and local officials, and first responders for their response to the tragedy.
He talked about priorities. Stating that the first priorty is to look after the lives of the people affected by this. Their top priority being to take care of those in danger.
Second, It’s important to safe guard the area, and continue search and rescue. Officials are still going door to door. The third priority is shelter. Gov. Abbott showed a map with three different paths of tornadoes which encompass over 5,000 addresses. This map from the NWS gives you an idea of the path of destruction.
Utility restoration is another priority. People are working it on 'aggressively.' Damage assessment is also a priority.
Here's a look from above at the damage in Van Zandt County from KLTV Chopper 7.
Mayor of Canton, Lou Ann Everett confirmed that there have been four fatalities. Two people are still unaccounted for. If you are missing someone, you are asked to contact the Sheriff’s office Van Zandt County. Canton High School Band Hall is still hosting a triage with ambulances on site.
Canton and Fruitvale ISD will be closed tomorrow. Power restoration has begun in Canton and Martins Mill. Vet services are available for wounded animals behind Canton Jr. High. Lost pets can be returned to Sears Home Store to help find owners 1190 South Trades Day Blvd.
Local officials thanked Governor Abbott and other elected officials around East Texas for support, thoughts and prayers.
Approximately 14,000 customers still without power, hoping to be restored by midnight. National Weather Service is assessing the situation to determine
A dusk to dawn curfew has been enacted for the affected areas, excluding the city of Canton. Multiple schools affected throughout the county. Contact your school districts to find out if they will be closed tomorrow.
Gov. Abbott also stressed that information is continuing to be gathered to determine a state disaster declaration.
He described the damage as,
“Large swath after large swath of devastation.”