'I was terrified,' Deer Park resident stuck in car when tornado hit

It was a rare tornado that hit Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service, leaving power outages and thousands of residents cleaning up Wednesday morning. And in Deer Park, the damage is extensive.

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The tornado snapped so many power poles utility crews haven’t been able to get to all of them. So poles and power lines are still littering a number of roads in Deer Park. 

Several streets are still shut down as National Weather Service crews make their way around the area to assess the damage and determine exactly what hit.

The video of the tornado that hit Deer Park doesn’t show a typical funnel cloud-looking twister, instead, National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Evans says he would describe the tornado as looking more like a wall of wind and rain. 

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Evans says wind speeds were at least 115 miles an hour. 

"We think it was on the ground from right around I-45 all the way to the Ship Channel," he said. "It was probably about 10 to 20 miles long and a half mile wide. We think it was an EF2 to EF3. Maybe a low end EF3. The size of it is very rare for our area to have a tornado on the ground this long. It's really been since 1992 that we’ve seen anything like this".

Deer Park resident Mark McVey recorded video as he was stuck in his car with the tornado bearing down on him. 

"It hit so fast," he said. "I mean one minute it's kind of lightly raining. I think it’s hail and it’s debris from a tornado, and it’s on top of me, just massive sheets of wind blowing by. Visibility got real bad, real fast."

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"You know this is serious and then wow, wow I was terrified for a minute that a tree was going to fall on my car, that the car was going to flip because it was rocking big time," McVey continued. "The car was shaking side to side, up and back and the noise was deafening. It was so loud."

He had every right to be afraid. A short distance from where he was we came across an SUV and a car crumpled like toys in a field after the tornado apparently picked them up and ultimately dropped them in that grassy area leaving them crushed almost beyond recognition.

"I really had concerns there for just a second that I’m going to get blown away," McVey concluded. 

As of Wednesday evening, clean-up efforts remain underway after the tornado left widespread damage in Deer Park and thousands are still without power.. 

"Our public works is working overtime, and we’re being supported by a lot of agencies and local municipalities in assisting us in getting our debris picked ups," Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton Jr. said "I want to thank everyone in the community at large that’s been keeping our city covered in prayer. It’s being felt across our region. We want to that God we had no serious injuries or casualties."