severe weather

Victims identified from deadly tornado that ripped through northern Texas town

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The search and recovery of victims from a deadly tornado that ripped through the town of Matador Wednesday night has been completed.

At around 8 p.m. Wednesday, a supercell developed near Amarillo before striking the small town of Matador, said senior forecaster Matt Ziebell with the National Weather Service in Lubbock. He called it “certainly rare to see all at the same time — killer tornadoes, hurricane-force winds and softball-sized hail.”

The loss of life has been reported as four, and the reported injuries are said to be around 15 persons from the deadly storm, according to Motley County officials.

The people reported to have lost their lives were identified as:

  • Jo Etta Bumgardner, 85 years of age, female of Matador, Texas
  • Randell (Randy) Rolin, 59 years of age, male, Purcell, Oklahoma
  • Victor Valenzuela Jr., 43 years of age, male of Austin, Texas
  • Troy Hernandez, 23 years of age, male of San Angelo, Texas

The damage of property reported was 29 structures destroyed, 11 with significant damage, and 23 with damage, with 61 properties affected by the storm. 

Officials say power has been restored to 80 percent of the town.

"City and County officials would like to thank all the people from surrounding cities and counties for their overwhelming support and outpouring of food, water, and supplies. Matador does not have any unmet needs at this time and would ask that people stop sending water, food, and supplies as they cannot store any more supplies. Please do not donate clothing to this relief effort. Officials are not equipped to store or categorize those types of donations."

For those wanting to help and offer donations, an account has been set up through Happy State Bank under the name of Matador Relief Fund.

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