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Tornado hits outside Houston, watch in effect for southeast Texas

FILE: Image shows the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) storm prediction map on Saturday, August 26, 2017. After Hurricane Harvey, tornado watches were in effect across southeast Texas and parts of Louisiana. (Credit: NOAA)

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A tornado has hit a Houston-area community and a tornado watch is in effect across southeast Texas and in parts of southwest Louisiana.

The tornado wound through the Houston suburb of Cypress, damaging several homes and buildings but causing no apparent injuries.

Authorities say sheriff's deputies in the Houston area saw a tornado touchdown about four times near Cypress as Tropical Storm Harvey pounds Texas.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office posted a video to Facebook on Saturday of Sheriff Ed Gonzalez speaking to residents and news media about the tornado. Gonzalez says a car with a driver inside was flipped over by the tornado, but is OK. Gonzalez says he and deputies were seeing extensive damage to roofs, but had not heard of any injuries.

National Weather Service meteorologist Wendy Wong says that numerous tornadoes spawned by Harvey caused damage in Houston and the surrounding area — from around Matagorda on the coast to the Cypress area in the north. She said homes, vehicles and buildings were damaged.

More than a dozen Texas counties were under a tornado watch Saturday night.

Harvey came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night but has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards says the National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in the Cameron Parish town of Hackberry.

The tornado hit about 12:25 p.m. Saturday. Edwards says there were no reports of injuries or fatalities but there was "significant property damage."

Meteorologist Jared Rackley says officials have yet to survey the area, but photos show an overturned camper and other damage.

In Texas, a judge has confirmed one death in Rockport that's being blamed on Harvey. Emergency crews are searching for victims.

Rackley says a tornado watch is up for most of southwest Louisiana and south-central Louisiana until 2 a.m. Sunday.

He urges residents to remain on guard as a heavy amount of rain was expected to fall on the state over the next several days.

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