A K-9 officer in Deer Park, Texas was caught on camera rescuing his dog, Roni, as a tornado hit the metro Houston area on Tuesday.
The footage was shared by The Weather Channel and the officer can be seen running towards his house with Roni in his arms, just as the tornado approaches. The officer and his dog were able to make it to safety in time.
The tornado that pounded Pasadena and Deer Park has been preliminarily rated as an EF3, with an estimated maximum path length of 18 miles, maximum path width of 0.66 miles, and a maximum wind speed of 140 mph.
NWS Houston can now confirm that the Deer Park/Pasadena tornado will be preliminarily rated EF3, with an estimated maximum path length of 18 mi, maximum path width of 0.66 mi, and maximum wind speed of 140 mph. We will provide a full summary later this evening. #houwx #txwx
— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) January 25, 2023
Jeffry Evans, the meteorologist-in-charge with the National Weather Service of Houston and Galveston described the tornado as possibly being a half-mile wide, which is considered to be very large.
The damage caused by the tornado appeared to be sporadic, with some homes heavily damaged while others received little or no damage.
According to ABC13 chief forecaster David Tillman, this is because large tornadoes like that one are actually three or four smaller tornadoes rotating around a common center, called suction vortices.
The circulation first prompted a Tornado Warning at about 1:45 p.m. as it approached Sienna in Fort Bend County southwest of Houston.
Additional warnings were issued as it crossed through Pearland, with the National Weather Service calling it a radar-confirmed tornado due to debris detected by Doppler radar.
As the circulation crossed inside the Beltway near I-45, it grew larger and stronger, prompting the Tornado Emergency issued at 2:24 p.m.
Despite the severe weather, there were no reports of injuries. National Weather Service damage assessment crews will be busy all day Wednesday investigating the damage to determine the path and strength of the tornado.
The storm on Wednesday was expected to bring damaging winds to parts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, forecasters said.