The Latest on Texas Severe Weather: Deputies exposed to gas by Pampa tornado, not chemicals


DALLAS (AP) - The latest on severe weather in parts of Texas (all times local):

11:55 a.m.

Two Texas Panhandle sheriff's deputies were exposed to natural gas, not chemicals, after a tornado damaged a Halliburton complex near Pampa.

The Gray County Sheriff's Office initially said two deputies were exposed to unknown chemicals Monday night while searching the storm-damaged property. The deputies were checked by emergency medical personnel at the scene and both declined to be taken to a hospital.

The sheriff's office, in a statement Tuesday, said the deputies were apparently exposed to natural gas before the lines were shut off. No further danger was found at the scene.

A Halliburton statement says its Pampa district office, which recently closed, was hit by a tornado Monday night but no employees were present. The company says no chemicals were at the site and those were earlier removed as part of the facility closing.

No damage estimate was immediately available from Halliburton.


10:35 a.m.

Thousands of homes and businesses in Texas remain without power after tornadoes and other storms hit parts of the state.

Dallas-based Oncor reports nearly 19,000 customers without electricity Tuesday as crews work to restore service. Those outages are mainly in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas, which received nearly 2 inches of rain since storms began late Sunday.

Xcel Energy reported scattered power losses in the Pampa area, where forecasters say at five tornadoes were confirmed Monday night. Nobody was injured during the twisters also blamed for derailing four empty cars of a freight train.

A tornado watch remains in effect for the Houston, Huntsville, Beaumont, Lufkin and Nacogdoches (na-kuh-DOH'-chihs) areas until 4 p.m. Tuesday.


10:20 a.m.

Millions of people in Southeast Texas face the threat of tornadoes from a storm system that earlier hit parts of the Panhandle.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch until late Tuesday afternoon for areas including the state's largest city, Houston, plus Huntsville and Beaumont.

Forecasters in Fort Worth says a small tornado touched down before dawn Tuesday in North Texas, in the Keller area. Several homes were damaged but nobody was hurt.

Several twisters struck the Pampa area Monday night. The Gray County Sheriff's Office had no reports of anyone hurt in the storms that destroyed at least two homes and damaged several businesses. Four empty cars derailed from a BNSF Railway freight train in the area. Nobody was injured in the derailment.

Officials say nearly 2 inches of rain fell in northern Dallas County, and much of Collin and Hunt counties, since Sunday night.


7:50 a.m.

Halliburton officials say no employees were at a chemical facility in the Texas Panhandle when the site was hit by a tornado.

The National Weather Service says at least five tornadoes touched down in the area Monday night.

A statement Tuesday says Halliburton's district office near Pampa recently closed and no chemicals or workers were at the location during Monday night's storm. Halliburton officials are investigating damage to the facility.

The Gray County Sheriff's Office says two deputies responding to severe weather were exposed to chemicals at the Halliburton complex and were checked by medical personnel at the scene. Both deputies declined to be taken to a hospital.

Four empty cars on a BNSF Railway freight train derailed near Miami (my-AM'-uh), about 20 miles from Pampa. Nobody was injured. The 87-car train was bound from Kansas to Amarillo.

Dallas-based Oncor (ON-kor) reports about 32,000 customers without power, mainly in North and East Texas, amid storms and heavy rain.


7:20 a.m.

Several cars of a BNSF Railway freight train have derailed in the Texas Panhandle during tornadoes that left two people slightly injured.

The Roberts County Sheriff's Office says four cars derailed Monday night near Miami (my-AM'-uh). The area is about 20 miles from Pampa, where the National Weather Service reports at least five tornadoes touched down in a rural area.

BNSF spokesman Joe Faust on Tuesday blamed twisters for the derailment of four empty cars around 7:30 p.m. Monday. Faust says the two crewmembers on board were not harmed. He says the 87-car train was headed from Wellington, Kansas, to Amarillo.

The Gray County Sheriff's Office says one house and several businesses were damaged during the twisters east of Pampa. Nobody was hurt.

A chemical leak was discovered at the nearby Halliburton plant but crews deemed the complex safe and the site was being evaluated. Two deputies were exposed to chemicals and treated at the scene.

Heavy rain moved through the Dallas-Fort Worth area early Tuesday. Dallas-based electric provider Oncor (ON'-kor) reported about 35,000 customers without power, mainly in North Texas as the storms moved east.

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