Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

News

April 3, 2012

Large tornadoes, damage reported in Dallas area

DALLAS — Tornadoes tore through the Dallas area on Tuesday, tearing roofs off homes, tossing trucks into the air and leaving flattened tractor trailers strewn along highways and parking lots.

The National Weather Service confirmed at least two separate "large and extremely dangerous" tornadoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Several other developing twisters were reported as a band of violent storms moved north through the metropolitan area. Officials had no immediate information about injuries.

Footage from highway video cameras showed a large, dark funnel cloud moving on the ground not far from a major interstate early Tuesday afternoon. Crumpled orange tractor trailers were later visible in a Dallas County parking lot, as well as flattened trailers along the sides of highways and access roads.

In Lancaster, south of Dallas, local television footage showed homes without roofs while other buildings were flattened. Plywood was strewn on the grass and on top of buildings. Residents could be seen walking down the street with firefighters and peering into homes, looking at the damage after the storm passed.

The storm pushed cars into fences and toppled trees. Branches and limbs were scattered across lawns and in the streets. A tow-behind RV was torn apart and crumpled in a driveway where part of a roof of the home was torn off.

"Obviously we're going to have a lot of assessments to make when this is done," Dallas County spokeswoman Maria Arita told The Associated Press.

Dallas Police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey said an apparent twister also touched down and caused damage within the city's southern limits, though the extent was not immediately known.

DFW Airport spokesman David Magana told WFAA-TV that airport employees pulled passengers away from glass windows and into inside areas of the airport as the storms moved through.

"We did see some heavy rain at this point we do expect to have number of flights diverted and canceled," Magana said. "We do not have any damage reports at the airport that I am aware of."

A spokeswoman for the Lancaster school district spokeswoman said officials did not immediately know of any damage to schools. Leslie Johnston, spokeswoman for Arlington Independent School District, in between Dallas and Fort Worth, said all schools there had students take shelter and several schools reported power outages.

The weather service said "considerable damage" also was reported in a rural Johnson County, south of Fort Worth.

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