Tornadoes have reportedly touched down around Houston, leveling homes and destroying everything else in their wake as Hurricane Harvey moved inland in Texas.
Photos and video out of Fort Bend County ― especially from Katy and Missouri City, west and south of Houston, respectively ― paint a picture of structural devastation from apparent tornadoes but, at this point, few injuries.
Emergency officials told KHOU that at least 50 homes were damaged in the county area. A deputy responding to the situation was reportedly “blown off the road,” but a few minor injuries in the area haven’t led to anyone being transported to the hospital. What’s left of some of the homes is already being cleaned up:
Another tornado reportedly hit Matagorda County a bit farther south. A mandatory evacuation is in place for that county, according to KHOU.
Although Harvey has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm, there are still tornado warnings in Texas and the potential for devastating floods, emergency officials said.
Hurricanes and tropical storms are perfect incubators for tornadoes. They often carry “supercells” within them (essentially thunderstorms with rotating updrafts) and can produce abrupt changes in wind speed, according to Live Science. As the warm, moist air swirls, it can become a tornado.
Harvey has brought sustained 90 mph winds and dropped as much as 10 inches of rain in some parts of the state already. More than 300,000 people were without power as of Saturday morning. The National Weather Service began issuing flash flood warnings for Houston, and the National Hurricane Center warned that the coast should expect up to 30 inches of rain.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the location of Katy, Texas. It is west, not east, of Houston.