Likely tornado and bad weather strike Port Arthur, leaving lots of damage

Published 8:47 am Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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A likely tornado and widespread severe weather in the early morning hours Wednesday caused downed trees and power lines across Port Arthur.

“The city is still completing assessments and will provide an update with specifics as details become available,” a City of Port Arthur release at 8:33 a.m. stated. “Please move with caution as we move about the city.”

Port Arthur Police Department Chief Tim Duriso said homes were damaged and a church struck on Bluebonnet Avenue.

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There are a bunch of locations where trees are down, “and we have at least 2,000 residents without power,” the chief added.

He said initial damage reports are for 13th Street, the 1900 block of Thomas Boulevard and 1900 block of 11th Street.

“Thank God, no initial reports of injuries,” Duriso told Port Arthur Newsmedia just after 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service in Lake Charles, Louisiana, said it received reports of wind gusts exceeding 60 mph recorded in Sabine Pass.

The city said regularly scheduled bulk waste (trash) pickup will not occur Wednesday so staff can assist with tornado cleanup. Regular (residential) garbage pickups will occur as expected.

Also, drivers are reminded to treat intersections with inoperable traffic lights as four-way stops.

Although rain is expected throughout the day, meteorologist Andy Tingler said the worst weather for Port Arthur and Mid County has passed.

“We do have a few storms that are out there right now, and you may have some more throughout the day today; however, for the most part, rain chances will be decreasing throughout the middle of the day,” he said.

“We do have a cold front that will come through, so the winds may pick up some, but you are still expecting high (temperatures) close to 80 and low (temperatures) tonight back down into the 50s.”

Tingler said north of Port Arthur and Beaumont experienced quite a bit of rain.

From Woodville and over through Jasper and Newtown County, radar recorded some places with 12 to 17 inches of rain. That was starting Tuesday evening and continuing overnight into Wednesday.

For Port Arthur, 1 to 2 inches is a pretty common rain report, with some picking up 3 inches of rain, according to Tingler.

“As you get closer into the Beaumont area, it’s pretty much a widespread 2 to 3 inches,” he added. “The northern portions of Orange County, 2 to 4 inches of rain is pretty common. Right around Orange (city limits), right around 2 inches.”

The airport in Orange reported 30 mph wind gusts.