DALLAS — The North Texas tornado that struck down in Lamar County has been upgraded to an EF-4, the second-highest rating on the Enhanced Fujita scale.
The tornado, which was one of four that happened in North Texas last Friday, had estimated peak winds of 170 mph and was an estimated 1,350 yards, or just over 3/4 of a mile, wide, according to the latest survey data from the National Weather Service.
The tornado was on the ground for nearly 26 miles, from around Brookston, west of Paris, and then into southeastern Oklahoma.
Initial survey data listed the tornado as an EF-3 with winds of around 160 mph and a path length of 22 miles.
EF-4 tornadoes typically have wind speeds of 160-200 mph, according to the EF scale.
The updated rating was made after the weather service's survey team saw one house that "revealed EF-4 damage."
Most damage in the storm was EF-0 to EF-2 ratings, with a few homes seeing EF-3 damage. Tornadoes are rated by the worst damage received; in this case, it was the one house with EF-4 damage.
Previous survey damage found some homes northwest of Paris "were completely unroofed with most external and internal walls destroyed."
No injuries were reported in the tornadoes but several homes were destroyed by the storm.
“We’re just so grateful that everyone walked away because there’s no reason they should have,” said Kandi Brannan, whose rental homes were destroyed by the tornado.
The tornado destroyed just about every one of the Brannan’s properties, but it also uncovered messages of hope: Tenants texted pictures of Bible verses they’d found that the couple had written in hidden places during the construction process.