Texas Tornado Pictures Show Severe Damage to Parts of Onalaska, Polk County

A devestating twister struck eastern Texas on Wednesday evening, causing widespread damage across Onalaska, Polk County.

The latest information from Polk County Office of Emergency Management is that three people have died and between 20 and 30 people have been injured by the storms.

Judge Sydney Murphy has issued a Declaration of Disaster in Polk County in response to yesterday's storms as rescue efforts continue.

In the meantime, residents are being asked to avoid the area in order to prevent traffic congestion, which officials say could hinder search and rescue operations, and shelter has been established for people affected by the storm in Dunbar Gymnasium in Livingston.

Residents of Jasper and Newton County who have been displaced are advised to dial 1-866-526-8300 the American Red Cross, who can help them find a place to stay.

According to the Polk County Office of Emergency Management, officials first started receiving reports of storm related damage at 6.11 p.m. CDT.

The hardest hit regions were Yaupon Cove, Texas Acres, Canyon Park, Tree Farm Tracks, Kickapoo Estate, Triple Creek, Rocky Creek, Pine Harbor, Paradise Acres 1, 2 and 3, and Creekside.

Images shared online reveal the devastation wrought by the storm as it ripped through Onalaska last night, from downed power cables to collapsed buildings.

Tornado damage: Amanda Price sent us these photos. She said they were taken at 6:33 p.m. and show tornado damage near Onalaska High School. Please be safe if you're in the area. We are hearing that the tornado is still on the ground. #khou pic.twitter.com/NhlWSbxLj9

— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) April 23, 2020

Jessica Willey, reporter for KTRK-TV, shared footage of upturned trees and downed power cables in Onalaska.

TORNADO DAMAGE in Onalaska. Polk County OEM says at least 10 people injured. #abc13 pic.twitter.com/RHZ6JZPqMB

— Jessica Willey (@ImJessicaWilley) April 23, 2020

Twitter user and storm chaser Ian Shelton shared images of property damaged by fallen trees.

Significant damage west of Onalaska in Polk County 30.8351 -95.1610. @NWSHouston @TxStormChasers pic.twitter.com/QktZazyXMR

— Ian Shelton (@IanShelton1997) April 22, 2020

Mike Seidel, Meteorologist with The Weather Channel, shared a clip of severe property damage along the Trinity River, off Highway 356.

A late afternoon long-track large #Tornado caused massive damage in Onalaska, Polk County, TX. This damage is along the Trinity River just off Highway 356. There were some injuries here. #severeweather @NWSHouston pic.twitter.com/6y2rIhsspN

— Mike Seidel (@mikeseidel) April 23, 2020

KPRC 2 shared more images of fallen trees and damaged property taken by Ian Shelton. This time in the Seven Oaks area in Polk County.

INSANE!!!
A tornado ripped through trees and buildings in the Seven Oaks area in Polk County tonight. KPRC 2 viewer Ian Shelton shared these photos of the damage.
MORE PHOTOS: https://t.co/2foKt5q2ZD pic.twitter.com/dt6EDL6Aev

— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) April 23, 2020

Travis Herzog, the chief meteorologist for ABC13 Houston, shared a video of a wedge tornado, so-named due to the wedge-like shape (upside-down triangle) of the storm.

"This is the monster that tore through #Onalaska & #SevenOaks as it cut a path of destruction through San Jacinto and Polk Counties."

WEDGE TORNADO VIDEO! 🌪

This is the monster that tore through #Onalaska & #SevenOaks as it cut a path of destruction through San Jacinto and Polk Counties.

We have reports of considerable damage to neighborhoods and our crews are on the way.

More at https://t.co/r8H6nC3fG3. pic.twitter.com/ODObU45yeK

— Travis Herzog (@TravisABC13) April 23, 2020

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement Wednesday night in response to the disaster.

"My office, the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and other state agencies are working with local officials to provide immediate support to the areas devastated by this tornado," he said.

"The state has already deployed response teams and medical resources to help Texans in need and to provide assistance to these communities. Our hearts are with our fellow Texans tonight and the state will continue to do everything it can to support those affected by this severe weather."

Wedge shaped tornado
File photo: A tornado rages across rural southewestern Manitoba, Canada. A tornado ripped through parts of east Texas on April 22, 2020. Reed Timmer/Jim Reed Photography/Corbis/Getty