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Twister surprises Texas town

Rare tornado damages shopping mall, causes minor injuries


"It was a very rare event; typically we donít see tornadoes this time of year in that area"

—Mike Griffin, National Weather Service

A tornado touched down without warning in the Parkdale Mall area of Beaumont, Texas, Tuesday causing a few minor injuries as well as damage to several businesses, according to Officer Crystal Holmes and Officer Randy Stevens of the Beaumont Police Department.

“It was a very rare event; typically we don’t see tornadoes this time of year in that area,” said Mike Griffin, meteorologist for the National Weather Service (NWS) in Lake Charles, Louisiana. “The conditions we usually look at in the atmosphere did not point to a severe weather event.”

“It was an ordinary little pop-up thunderstorm that happened to have enough spin to create this brief tornado that touched down. No one could have seen this happen or issued a warning on such an event that wasn’t expected and developed below the radar,” said Griffin.

Kohl’s department store sustained significant damage to its roof and its front windows, and several cars were overturned and damaged in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, according to reports.

Entergy (electricity provider) is on scene clearing and repairing lines. Centerpoint Energy (natural gas provider) is also in the area checking several minor gas leaks.

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