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What we know about the deadly tornado that hit North Texas on Saturday night

CBS News Live
CBS News Texas Live

NORTH TEXAS – At least seven people were killed in Cooke County, Texas after a major storm system spun off at least four tornadoes in North Texas late Saturday night.

According to CBS News Texas meteorologist Brittany Rainey, the storm cell was uninterrupted for about 100 miles. It began in Archer County, south of Wichita Falls, before moving west and south into Cooke, Denton and Collin counties.

Andrew Wurst

A large tornado was confirmed Saturday night, according to CBS News Texas meteorologist Jeff Ray, with multiple rotations spotted in the impacted areas. Debris from the tornado was shown at 5,200 feet, Ray said.  

"Approximately 200 homes in the path of the tornados sustained major or worse damage," according to Cooke County Emergency Management, and an additional 100 homes sustained damage.

Governor Abbott confirmed seven people were killed in North Texas, two of them children

A primary search Saturday night and a secondary search on Sunday led to the identification of seven deceased victims between 2 and 72 years old, according to Cooke County Emergency Management.

In addition to the deaths, which were in and around Valley View, major damage was reported in Sanger, Celina and other parts of the region. The storm also overturned semi-trucks on Interstate 35.

Celina ISD also experienced damage throughout the district, reporting "significant impact" at Martin Elementary, Moore Middle School, and Celina High School. 

"Our teams were working through the night and the day today to diligently assess the extent of the damage," Nancy Alvarez with Celina ISD said in a statement. "We already have workers ensuring our buildings are safe and watertight. When we have completed our initial assessments and work, we will provide another update to our families."

Damage from under an overpass when the tornado hit near Sanger. Andrew Wurst

National Weather Service survey teams are continuing to survey the damage that occurred in the hardest hit areas across Montague, Cooke, Denton, and Collin Counties. 

Preliminarily categorized as an EF-2, the National Weather Service survey released Monday increased the Valley View tornado to a low-end EF-3 due to additional information on the structure of new homes west of Valley View.

Another tornado was confirmed just north of Celina along Prairie Meadow Lane. This tornado is the strongest yet surveyed, a high-end EF-3 with estimated winds at 165mph.  

NWS also added a tornado to Collin County on Monday, tracking from northwest of Celina to south of Weston and an EF-1 at Ray Roberts Marina.  

Homeowners who sustained damage can click here to report it.   

Cooke County has been designated a Federal Disaster for damage received as a result of the tornado and storm damage. 

For assistance, impacted residents may call 1-800-621-3362 or click here.

A Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) team has been set up to connect those wishing to provide assistance with those needing assistance. This can range from transportation, construction assistance, debris removal, or administrative assistance to name just a few areas. If you need assistance or can provide assistance please call 940-612-5323.  

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