A tornado struck the small town of Franklin, Texas on April 13, 2019, leaving behind damage and unconfirmed reports of injuries. Some people posted photos and videos to social media showing damaged homes and felled trees. You can see some of those pictures and videos throughout this article.
However, there were no deaths and authorities later said those injured totaled nine.
Robertson County Judge Charles L. Ellison said at a press conference: “We’ve got about half of Texas come to help us, and we’ve lost about half of the South Side of Franklin. It’s totally destroyed. People from Austin and San Antonio have come to help.”
(There were also reports of dozens injured at the Caddo Mounds Historic Site in Texas. You can read about that here.)
The sheriff said more than a dozen people were hurt with many damaged homes:
KWTX-TV reported that the town took a “direct hit” from the tornado. CNN reported that there were “multiple people injured,” and emergency vehicles were having a difficult time getting through the debris in the area.
There was also a tornado reported in Alto, Texas, according to CNN, which added that the danger from tornadoes and severe weather in Texas and Louisiana was ongoing on the afternoon of April 13. There have not been any reports of deaths so far, however.
“The town of Franklin, TX, which is between Waco and College Station, took a direct hit from a tornado around 11:30-11:45am. Listening to scanner traffic, a search and rescue operation is underway. 10 injuries so far, one serious,” wrote Steve Kersh, chief meteorologist for ABC7 Amarillo.
This photo circulated on Facebook:
One Snapchat video showed a massive fallen tree in the road. The Robertson County Sheriff’s Department said there were injuries but the severity of them was not yet clear.
Here’s what you need to know:
Photos Showed Building Damage From the Franklin Tornado, Which Was Described as Violent & Having Multiple Touchdowns
People took to Twitter to share damage reports. “man the tornado hit my aunts church out there in franklin ☹️ easter is next weekend man that sucks,” wrote one woman.
Weather.com reported that the twister “began south of Calvert, in Robertson County, before hitting the town of Franklin, home to more than 1,000 residents.” According to Weather.com, trees were ‘snapped’ and cars were “blown off the road.”
James Sinko, Weather Channel meteorologist, wrote, “Per Robertson County #Texas Comm Center. Triage is being set up & injury “tagging” in progress. This is due to Severe Tornado Damage in Franklin.” Sinko wrote later, “The Community Center in Franklin has 30 Residents seeking shelter. City Officials bringing Food, Water & Supplies. If you are NOT injured head to the Community Center for Shelter if needed!”
Burton Fitzsimmons, meteorologist for Spectrum News Texas, wrote, “What’s being called a large & violent tornado reportedly touched down this morning in the small town of #Franklin, TX, about 85 miles NE of #Austin up hwy 79. Numerous injuries have been reported according to scanner traffic. Multiple touchdowns.”
You can follow the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth page on Twitter for updated weather alerts in that region of Texas. “11:27 AM: Those on US-79 northeast of Franklin (Robertson Co) need to find shelter immediately. A damaging tornado is likely ongoing just northeast of town. There are reports of damage just outside of Franklin. #ctxwx” the page wrote right before the tornado hit.
Photos and videos also circulated of damage in Alto, Texas:
One woman said the scene in Alto resembled a movie:
This post is being updated as more information is learned about injuries.