The Texas tornado is estimated to have caused at least $3.8 million (£2.9 million) of damage and around 55 homes were destroyed, according to emergency officials. Video footage following the tornado shows how the devastating storm left a trail of destruction in its path, with trees uprooted, homes destroyed and debris scattered across the ground. Robertson County Emergency Management Coordinator Billy Huggins told NBC News: “A strip of homes on the other side of town over here are completely gone, just gone, everything is gone.”
The devastating tornado, which hit on Saturday morning, was rated as an EF-3 with 140 mph winds by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Fort Worth.
Two children in East Texas were also reportedly killed during a separate storm in Angelina County when a tree fell on a moving car they were travelling in during Saturday afternoon.
Angelina County Sheriff’s Department Captain Alton Lenderman, a 3-year-old and 8-year-old were in a car with their parents in Pollock, Texas.
There were no reports of tornadic winds during the storm in East Texas on Saturday afternoon.
The severe weather system has so far been responsible for eight deaths across the southern US, with the powerful tornadoes thundering across Texas and Mississippi and ripping up homes.
Seventeen tornados were reported on Saturday and earlier on Sunday across the South from Texas to Alabama.
Tornado watches, some lasting through early Monday, were issued for most of West Virginia, most of North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland and parts of Ohio and New York.
Nearly 2,300 US flights were canceled by Sunday evening, more than 90 percent of them at airports in Chicago; Houston, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Pittsburgh; Columbus, Ohio and a dozen major airports on the Eastern Seaboard, according to FlightAware.com.
The news comes after the stars of golf were forced to complete the final round of this year’s Masters at Augusta early due to the weather concerns.
The nail-biting final round was eventually won by American Tiger Woods, who claimed his first major honour since 2008.
On its website, the NWS reported: “This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for eastern West Virginia, northern and central Virginia, and central and western Maryland with the exception of Garrett County.
“A Tornado Watch is in effect for the entire outlook area until 3AM.
“Two rounds of showers and scattered thunderstorms are expected this evening and overnight.
“The main severe weather threats are damaging wind gusts and an isolated tornado.
“Heavy rain in thunderstorms may lead to isolated instances of flooding.”