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"...the tornado swept an area of around 1 to 1.5 miles..."
On Thursday, in Perryton, a small city in the south-central U.S. state of Texas, local authorities reported that at least three people were killed, and various others injured after the tornado cut through some of the main areas of the town about 5:10 pm local time.
According to Perryton Fire Chief Paul Dutcher, at least one person was killed in a mobile home park that took a "direct hit" from a strong tornado, and two people were killed in the downtown business district.
Dutcher also said that the tornado swept an area of around 1 to 1.5 miles (1.6 to 2.4 km) and may have destroyed about 200 homes across the city; moreover, he also said that most of the missing people were believed to have been accounted for as of Thursday night.
The interim CEO of the Ochiltree General Hospital in Perryton, Kelly Judice, stated that the hospital has received 50 to 100 patients, with about 10 of them in critical condition who were later transferred to other hospitals.
The electric company Xcel Energy stated that Perryton was without power after the tornadoes because facilities have been de-energized for safety purposes. "Transmission lines supplying the city with electricity have sustained damage and many lower voltage distribution lines are down in the city. An estimated time of restoration is not yet available," the company said in an official statement.
Brian Emfinger, storm chaser, said in a statement that tornadoes cut through some of the main sections of Perryton and residents had little time to prepare. "It literally hit the residential, the downtown and then the industrial as well," he said
Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office said in a press release that the city has opened an emergency shelter at the gym and is deploying emergency response resources to "meet urgent life-safety needs."
Official data show that as of the 2020 U.S. census, there were about 8,500 people living in Perryton.