SCIENCE

Photos Show Destruction After Tornadoes Rip Through Texas

The storms have killed at least 11 people.

Unforgiving tornadoes tearing through Texas this weekend claimed at least 11 lives, injured dozens and diminished the structures in their paths to piles of rubble.

The National Weather Service confirmed Sunday night that at least nine separate tornadoes had hit the Lone Star State, including one that killed eight people on Saturday as it moved through Garland, Rowlett and Sunnyvale, the Dallas Morning News reported. According to the Weather Channel, that tornado was classified as an EF4, the second-strongest ranking on the scale used to measure tornado strength, with winds between 166 and 200 mph. The tornado was the only the second of that strength to hit Dallas County since 1950.

The twisters are just one part of a multi-day stretch of deadly weather events tormenting the South, the Plains and the Midwest during the holiday season. More than 40 deaths related to tornadoes, blizzards, freezing rain and floods have been reported in the regions since Wednesday, according to Weather Underground.

This month is now the deadliest December for tornadoes since 1953, The Washington Post reports.

"I don't declare local disasters lightly," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins told The Associated Press. "But I looked at the scene for 10 minutes, spoke to the incident commander and then called the lawyers to bring the paperwork."

See photos below of the destruction in Texas and the surrounding area: 

  • Damage to an apartment complex is seen after Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015.
    G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News/AP
    Damage to an apartment complex is seen after Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015.
  • Pam Russell, left, rescues her cat, Larue, from her damaged home on Delta Drive a day after a tornado hit in Rowlett, Texas,
    Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News/AP
    Pam Russell, left, rescues her cat, Larue, from her damaged home on Delta Drive a day after a tornado hit in Rowlett, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. 
  • Damage is seen in a mobile home park after Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas.
    G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News/AP
    Damage is seen in a mobile home park after Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas.
  • An American flag placed by first responders is seen on Dec. 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas.
    LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
    An American flag placed by first responders is seen on Dec. 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas.
  • Lightning illuminates a house after a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Alabama, damaging several houses, on Friday,
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Lightning illuminates a house after a tornado touched down in Jefferson County, Alabama, damaging several houses, on Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Cars sit submerged in flood waters on Tallapoosa Street, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Alabama. 
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Cars sit submerged in flood waters on Tallapoosa Street, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015, in Birmingham, Alabama. 
  • A car is flooded in a drainage ditch after Saturday's tornado on Schrade Road in Rowlett, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. 
    Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News/AP
    A car is flooded in a drainage ditch after Saturday's tornado on Schrade Road in Rowlett, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. 
  • A heavily damaged residence is seen Dec. 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas.
    LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
    A heavily damaged residence is seen Dec. 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas.
  • A Christmas tree lays in the wreckage of a family's home Dec. 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas. 
    LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
    A Christmas tree lays in the wreckage of a family's home Dec. 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas. 
  • Debris of homes spread out after Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. 
    G.J. McCarthy/The Dallas Morning News/AP
    Debris of homes spread out after Saturday's tornado in Garland, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015. 
  • A heavily damaged area is seen Dec. 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas. 
    LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
    A heavily damaged area is seen Dec. 27, 2015 in the aftermath of a tornado in Rowlett, Texas. 
  • A heavily damaged area is seen Dec. 27, 2015, in Rowlett, Texas.
    LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
    A heavily damaged area is seen Dec. 27, 2015, in Rowlett, Texas.
  • A city water tower is visible Dec. 27, 2015, in Rowlett, Texas.
    LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
    A city water tower is visible Dec. 27, 2015, in Rowlett, Texas.
  • An American flag placed by first responders is seen Dec. 27, 2015, in Rowlett, Texas.
    LAURA BUCKMAN via Getty Images
    An American flag placed by first responders is seen Dec. 27, 2015, in Rowlett, Texas.
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