Video: Texas Tornado Collapses Department Store Roof - @ JEMS.com


Video: Texas Tornado Collapses Department Store Roof


 
 

Arelis Hernandez | | Tuesday, August 18, 2009


HOUSTON -- A tornado swept through a southeast Texas shopping district without warning Tuesday, collapsing a department store roof, overturning vehicles and leaving several people in stores and parking lots with minor injuries, authorities said.

No serious injuries were reported, said Beaumont Police Officer Crystal Holmes, though one man went into cardiac arrest after the tornado touched down about 2 p.m. in Beaumont, about 87 miles east of Houston. Holmes said there was no word on the man's condition.



Holmes said the tornado hit a Kohl's Department Store collapsing its roof skipped over a Wal-Mart and continued on to Parkdale Mall, leaving a trail of destruction about a half-mile long.



Nearby Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital treated fewer than 10 people for lacerations and abrasions, said hospital spokeswoman Jacquelynn Conger.



"We were all busy working when power went out," said Judy Slate, of Honey Island, who was working at a Lowes home improvement store across the highway from Kohl's. "It was raining really hard and wind really blowing. There was a lot of debris flying around."



Bricks on exterior store walls were torn away, cars and trucks were flipped onto each other and parking lot cart corrals were bent and twisted.



"It was very fast," said Lowes store manager Warren Ellender.



National Weather Service science and operations officer Felix Navejar in Louisiana said forecasters hadn't expected a tornado because the storms moving through the area were relatively weak and there was little circulation to cause a funnel.



"We are continuing to monitor the situation right now because this is really rare," Navejar said, adding investigators were en route to Beaumont.



Police sealed off the shopping area's parking lots and asked residents to stay away. Beaumont Fire Capt. Earl White said his department assessed damage while energy companies checked minor gas leaks and repaired power lines.



"We were very, very fortunate. There was no early warning, but we didn't sustain any major injuries," White said. "The tornado swiped through the parking lot ... It was over in less than two minutes."



Slate, the Lowes worker, said she'd been through two tornadoes in Ohio and wasn't bothered by the stormy weather.



"It's something we don't have control over," she said.



Associated Press Writer Monica Rhor contributed to this report.




Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Cardiac and Circulation, Extrication and Rescue, Natural Disasters

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >