Today's Paper Digital FAQ HER Magazine Public Notices Podcast Obits Latest Newsletters Jobs Puzzles Classifieds Circulars

WITH POLL | Counties gaining clearer picture of tornado damage

by Stevon Gamble | November 11, 2022 at 9:14 a.m.
The Hughes Springs Volunteer Fire Station was one of the many buildings that suffered heavy damage when a tornado rolled through the town Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. (Photo by JD for the Texarkana Gazette)

County officials are starting to get a clearer picture of the damage caused by a series of tornadoes that swept through the region Nov. 4.

The largest of the twisters spun up in Red River County, Texas, near Clarksville and traveled northeast for 58.4 miles, crossing the Red River, before lifting in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, near Idabel and Broken Bow. The twister has been classified as an EF-4 with maximum winds of 170 mph, according to a report released Thursday by the Shreveport office of the National Weather Service. It had a maximum width of 0.6 miles.

Initial projections showed the storm's winds at a maximum of 150 mph.

In Red River County, approximately 10 single-family and manufactured houses were destroyed by the twister. However, the majority of the damage appears to have been in McCurtain County.


McCurtain County Emergency Management Director Cody McDaniel said damage assessments will take about a month to complete. Early estimates show 72 homes or businesses were destroyed, more than 40 heavily damaged and 130 slightly damaged, McDaniel said.

No fatalities were reported in Red River County. However, in Pickens in the northwest corner of McCurtain County, one person was killed when an EF-2 twister packing winds up 125 mph cut a 2.9-mile track through the area.

"Currently, everything is in pretty good shape, for the shape we're in. There could have been multiple fatalities," McDaniel said.

Residents with damage are asked to report it to

Clothing donations for victims are being accepted at KBEL Radio at 813 E. Lincoln Road in Idabel.

Cass County reported significant damage from two tornadoes, one an EF-3, a 140 mph storm that started in Morris County and carved a 16.9-mile to Dalton in Cass. One person died.

However, the slightly smaller EF-1, with maximum winds of 110 mph caused extensive damage in its 9.4-mile track through Cass County.

"Hughes Springs and Douglassville were the two areas that were hit. We lost a lot of trees in Douglassville but no significant damage to structures that have been reported in Douglassville," Cass County Judge Travis Ransom said Thursday.

Hughes Springs was not as fortunate.

"We had about 46 residential structures that were damaged, and I think six public facilities or public buildings," Ransom said.

The Hughes Springs Volunteer Fire Department was destroyed, and City Hall suffered extensive damage.

As of Thursday, power had been fully restored, Ransom said.

Ransom said as the clean-up continues and damage assessments begin, Cass County has established the Hughes Springs Disaster Assistance Center at First Assembly of God in Hughes Springs.

"They've been distributing water and clothes, blankets, household goods, really just anything," Ransom said.

The disaster relief group, including the Chamber of Commerce and the city, also are working to create a type of committee to help affected residents with applications for financial assistance, Ransom said.

The Assistance Center already has submitted two applications to the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs to help the applicants access emergency funding to have their houses rebuilt, Ransom said.

The Assistance Center will stay open until at least the first week of December.

"We plan on staffing that with volunteers and providing services to those in need until Dec. 5, and then that's really our next decision point," Ransom said about plans to keep the center open.

The county judge said people who would like to help with the recovery can call Hughes Springs Chamber of Commerce at 903-639-2351 to make a donation. Volunteers can sign up on the First Assembly of God, Hughes Springs, Facebook page.

Despite the devastation, McDaniel and Ransom said the bonds of the community remain strong.

"Residents working together during the cleanup has been amazing," said McDaniel, adding that he has seen several people with chainsaws out cutting up trees shortly after the tornado. "We are so lucky to live where we live."

Ransom said the same about the residents of Hughes Springs.

"All I do is make the phone calls and open the door. They're the ones that are actually putting in the sweat equity and making it happen, so the credit goes to the community," Ransom said. "Those citizens over there are really just stepping up in a big way to help each other out."

The most recent information from the NWS' Shreveport reports the following tornadoes --

• Pickens, McCurtain County, Oklahoma: EF-2, 125 mph, 2.9-mile track

• Rural northwestern McCurtain County: EF-1, 105 mph, 2.9-mile track

• Red River County Texas to McCurtain County: EF-4, 170 mph, 58.4-mile track

• East of Pittsburg, Camp County, Texas: EF-1, 95 mph, 2.2-mile track

• Cason in Morris County, Texas, to Dalton in Cass County, Texas: EF-3, 140 mph, 16.9-mile track

• Bowie County, Texas: EF-3, 140 mph, 15.7-mile track

• Hughes Springs in Cass County: EF-1, 110 mph, 9.4-mile track

• Center Point in Howard County, Arkansas: EF-2, 115 mph, 8.2-mile track

• Southeast of Bethany in Caddo Parish, Louisiana: EF-0, 85 mph, 1.3-mile track

Bowie County emergency officials could not be reached for comment for this story.


Gazette reporter Lori Dunn contributed to this report.

Print Headline: WITH POLL | Counties gaining clearer picture of tornado damage


Sponsor Content