Matador, Texas, hit by severe tornado, killing four

Residents of Matador, Texas, had almost no time to prepare on the evening of June 21, when a violent tornado developed over their town, killing four and injuring ten. The Texas Panhandle town consists of 570 people and is 70 miles northeast of Lubbock, Texas. This tornado brought with it 100 mile-per-hour winds and softball-sized hail, which caused widespread damage to the town, including destruction of businesses, homes, vehicles and livestock losses.

These deaths in Matador bring the total death toll for tornados in 2023 to 73 people. For comparison, last year 23 people were killed in tornadoes. The power went off shortly before the tornado hit, but is expected to be restored June 23 or 24. Thursday afternoon, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration and is sending more state aid to Matador.

"There is no force more powerful than Texans helping Texans, and this updated disaster declaration will help the State of Texas swiftly respond to communities devastated by the severe weather and tornadoes in West Texas," Abbott said in a statement. "I ask all Texans to join Cecilia and me as we pray for the Matador community and families who tragically lost a loved one during last night’s horrific storm. I thank all of our brave first responders and emergency response personnel who are working to help their fellow Texans navigate the aftermath of this severe weather event."

Lacey Vilhauer can be reached at 620-227-1871 or [email protected].