Onalaska tornado rated EF-3, deadliest tornado for region in more than 30 years

Severe Weather

ONALASKA, Texas (KETK) – The National Weather Service classified the Onalaska tornado as an EF-3 storm that ripped through Polk County on Wednesday, April 22 and said it was the deadliest in the Houston-forecast area since 1987.

The tornado crossed over Polk County and struck Onalaska on its 32-mile path. Winds reached 140 miles per hour. An EF-3 rating is the third highest the NWS can give to a tornado.

The tornado killed three people and destroyed 46 homes during its track and was estimated to be 500 yards wide.

The NWS also wrote that it was the deadliest tornado to hit their Houston-forecast area since November 1987. An EF-3 tornado killed three people in Madison County.

The region stretches from Houston County to the Gulf of Mexico and reaches as far west as Jackson County.

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