ORANGE, Texas – Dramatic video of a large tornado was caught on camera as it whipped up debris and snapped power lines along a near-empty Texas highway during a fast-moving line of severe thunderstorms Wednesday.
Mary Phan saw Mother Nature's furry firsthand Wednesday while she was driving home from school at Lamar University. With nowhere to go or hide, she stopped in the middle of Interstate 10 while her cousin recorded the tornado from the passenger seat. The 19-year-old then posted the video on Facebook.
"It was so unreal," Phan said. "I was terrified but kept calm. I was just thinking about what I should do if it had gotten any closer."
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for the area and warned residents of widespread wind gusts up to 70 mph and hail up to quarter-sized.
The National Weather Service in Lake Charles, Louisiana, said there were multiple reports of a large tornado on the ground north-northwest of Orange. A tornado was also observed about 20 minutes south near Mauriceville, Texas, that was "large and extremely dangerous."
NWS Lake Charles also confirmed a tornado near La Belle, Texas, about 75 miles east of Houston.
A storm tracker also posted video of what appeared to be a tornado on the ground near Bridge City, Texas. This appeared to be the same storm that prompted the reports of a tornado near La Belle, Mauriceville and Orange.
There have also been multiple reports of structures sustaining damage from Texas to Louisiana. At least one injury has been reported.
More than 50,000 customers were without power in Texas as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. In Louisiana, more than 22,000 customers were out.
If a tornado warning is issued for your area, you should immediately head to the lowest level of the building you are in, head to a center room on that floor, get away from windows and cover your head.