Two tornadoes devastate Panhandle towns in a week

Matador and Perryton continue recovery efforts after losing neighbors in deadly storms.

By Brad Burt, Texas Tech Public MediaJune 22, 2023 11:27 am,

From Texas Tech Public Media:

Residents of Matador are cleaning up after a deadly tornado struck the community, the second in a week to tear through a small Texas Panhandle town.

The tornado was reported around 8 p.m. Wednesday. As of Thursday morning, emergency officials said four people were killed and ten were injured.

Matador is a community of about 570 people 80 miles northeast of Lubbock.

“Luckily, being a tight-knit community, everyone knows everyone,” said Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Johnny Bures. “And so we were able to account for everyone quickly.”

A number of towns east of the Caprock, such as Jayton, were also hit with 100-mile-per-hour winds and softball-sized hail.

Citizens are picking up the pieces with the help of first responders from across the region.

Lubbock Fire Rescue coordinated their communications team with local crews to provide information, as well as providing drones to survey the area and assess the damage. With record-breaking heat temperatures a continuing concern for the South Plains, particularly in a town without power, a cooling center was set up at the Motley County Senior Citizen Building.

In an update Thursday morning, the Texas Department of Public Safety said surrounding community leaders and business owners are contributing to help Matador citizens with cleanup and recovery.

This storm comes less than a week after another deadly tornado hit the community of Perryton, a town of less than 9,000 people north of Amarillo, killing three and injuring more than 100 others.

The Texas Division of Emergency Management has asked those with storm damage to report here.

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