NWS classifies Bell County tornado near Salado high-end EF-3 with max winds of 165 mph

Bell County residents are now picking up the pieces of what's left following tornadoes in the area Tuesday evening. A disaster declaration has been issued for the county.

The National Weather Service has classified the two tornadoes in Bell County as an EF-0 and a EF-3

The EF-0 tornado impacted eastern Bell County near the town of Seaton. The tornado resulted in damage to trees consistent with maximum winds of 75 mph. 

The EF-3 tornado occurred in southern Bell County near Salado. Preliminary maximum winds were estimated near 165 mph.

In Williamson County, the NWS said there was an EF-1 tornado that began north of Florence Tuesday evening. They said the tornado continued into Bell County where they found high-end EF-3 damage.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn said there were no new injuries reported. In his 11 a.m. press conference, he said there were a total of 23 injuries with one person in critical condition.

At this time, it is known that there were 63 structures damaged in Bell County. Out of the 63 structures, 61 were homes. Judge Blackburn said this number may increase as authorities continue their sweep through the affected areas.

Numerous roadways in Bell County are also blocked due to debris in the area, and it is not known when they will open back up.

There are two numbers Bell County residents can call starting Thursday, April 14:

  • If you are a property owner and are in need of assistance, call (254) 534-4562
  • If you would like to make a donation or are offering assistance, call (254) 534-2217

Both phone lines will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Phone lines will be closed on Good Friday and will open the following Monday.

Judge Blackburn said there is a shelter open, however, it is not being utilized at this time.

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