By Larry Mowry & Stewart McKenzie, CBS 11 Weather

Tornadoes Are A Main Threat This Time Of The Year

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – 2010 saw its share of severe weather events across North Texas.  Among the most dangerous threats to human life and property are tornadoes.

Last year, 112 tornadoes were reported across the Lone Star State.  We saw several destructive tornadoes in North Texas.

On September 8th, a tornado formed over west Dallas towards the end of the evening rush hour.  CBS 11 had live coverage of the twister, and aftermath, during the 6 P.M. newscast.

The twister damaged several buildings and a warehouse before lifting back up in the sky.

Daniel Perez owned a business that was hit by the storm.  Days after the storm Perez expressed optimism saying, “I’m alive and I got two hands.  And a good mind, a good brain.  It’s all I need.”

The tornado was on the ground for about one half of a mile.  It was classified as an EF-2 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita Scale.  That classification has the maximum winds of a tornado at 135 miles per hour.

One month later, another EF-2 tornado slammed into the Rice Intermediate School in Navarro County.

Eric Meyers oversees emergency operations for Navarro County.  He was on I-45 and had a front row seat for the destruction.

“You don’t want to get that close,” said Meyers.

The tornado occurred on October 24th, a Sunday.  Meyers believes the area was fortunate since school wasn’t in session.

Late last month, crews finished repairs to the school.

Looking back on the 2010 storm season, Ellis County recorded the most tornadoes in North Texas with 3.  Tarrant, Dallas, Henderson and Hopkins counties each had two.

Fortunately, there were no deaths related to tornadoes last year in the area.

What should you do if a tornado warning is issued for your area?  First, be alert and act immediately.

Remember, tornadoes in North Texas can happen anytime of the year and anytime of the day.

If you’re at home, move to a small interior room or closet towards the middle of the first floor.  Stay away from windows.

What if you are caught outdoors, driving, and a tornado is heading towards you?  Don’t try to outrun the storm.  Get out of the car and find a ditch or low spot.  Lay down flat and cover your head with your hands.

You may only have a few seconds to react.  Coming up with a plan, before the storm, could be the key that saves you and your family’s life.