Panola tornado

A crew from the National Weather Service conducted damage survey in Panola County Monday after a tornado touched down Sunday night.


A crew from the National Weather Service surveyed Panola County Monday after a reported tornado touched down Sunday night snapping trees and power lines in the area.

NWS reported at 7:46 p.m. Sunday a confirmed tornado was just north of Fairplay, west of Carthage.

“This storm is moving northeast at 25 mph,” the post read. “A Tornado Warning has been issued for portions of Panola County. Take cover now!”

Weather warnings and watches in the area largely expired Monday morning as a line of storms continued to move through the area.

Carthage ISD reported on Facebook that the high school would cancel classes Monday due to the power outage and buses will take students home. Other campuses were expected to start at normal time, according to the post.

As many as 1,794 customers of AEP-Southwestern Electric Power Co. in Carthage, Gladewater, Henderson, Marshall and Longview also lost power Sunday evening, SWEPCO spokeswoman Karen Wissing said. However, she explained the power losses were all weather-related and she did not know how many could be linked to a tornado that Stevens said touched down between 8 and 9:30 p.m. Sunday in Panola County.

Within Carthage, 563 customers lost power, Wissing said.

Monday morning, SWEPCO reported nearly 1,000 customers in Panola County still did not have power.

Reports of the tornado came in for Carthage, DeBerry, Bethany and Beckville in Panola County, National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Stevens said Sunday night.

“All I can tell you right now is we have a lot of storm damage,” Stevens said. He said the weather service will send a crew to Panola County this (Monday) morning “and find out what happened.”

The National Weather Service reported that the tornado touched down along the south side of Highway 79 just west of County Road 280 in western Panola County where it broke some large branches out of trees and uprooted a few more.

“Then, it traveled east-northeast along the north side of Highway 79 where it uprooted and snapped a few trees and damaged a roof to a residential home,” NWS officials noted. “It continued on to the east-northeast where it broke more branches out of a few more trees before lifting near the intersection of County Road 1251 and County Road 124.”

NEWS thanked the emergency management teams in Rusk County and Panola County for their assistance with identifying locations of the damage.

“In addition, thanks to TDEM for their assistance during the survey,” officials said.