Reporting Garry Seith
DALLAS/FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Strong storms moved into the region Tuesday evening, scattering tornadoes, hail storms and heavy winds in nearly every corner of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area for more than four hours.
And despite a high profile tornado touching down near DFW Airport and heavy hail causing Rangers staff to move fans into the tunnels below the Ballpark in Arlington, a Red Cross spokesman said the organization was not asked to open their shelters.
The wild night of weather began at 7:30 p.m. when a tornado touched down in Azle in the eastern edge of Parker County. It continued to move into Northwestern Tarrant County, causing much headaches for areas east for the rest of the evening.
At DFW Airport at about 8 p.m., a tornado was reported near DFW Airport. Tracy Everbach, a tenured journalism professor at the University of North Texas, was waiting to board a flight to Europe. She said officials made an announcement over the loudspeakers saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, a tornado has been spotted near the airport. This is a serious situation. This is not a drill.”
DFW Airport staffers removed all passengers from planes on the tarmac and moved them to safe areas inside the airport as a precaution. The same happened at Love Field.
American Airlines canceled all flights out of DFW Airport, but some were allowed to land late Tuesday.
Multiple funnel clouds were also spotted in southern Denton County near Guyer High School and along Interstate 35W near Ponder and Westlake at around 8:15 p.m. Residents near Keller and Southlake were on edge for most of the night, as a line of storms hundreds of miles long careened from Brownwood up to the Oklahoma border and pounded the mid-cities along the way.
At Highway 820 and Rufe Snow in North Richland Hills, a mostly-vacant shopping center had roofing and insulation blown into the parking lot. Winds knocked over some air conditioning units on the roof as well. Fire fighters were on scene, but would not issue a comment.
Reported tornadoes also touched down in southern Dallas County near Lancaster and Seagoville. No damage had been reported early Wednesday morning.
At Rangers Ballpark in Arlington players, workers and fans were all moved into the service level of the stadium underneath the stands through the field’s bullpens just after 9 p.m. Play resumed in the bottom of the fourth inning at about 11:24 p.m.
By 10:20 p.m., Oncor said about 70,000 customers in the DFW area didn’t have power.
At about 10:30 p.m., reports of 60 to 70 mile-per-hour winds hit Irving, Plano and McKinney before moving along. The Irving Fire Department reported no damage in the city.
Heavy winds and reports of wind-wrapped tornadoes in Kaufman County began around 10:30 p.m. and passed through within an hour. The Kaufman County Emergency Management Director reported no damage within the city from the storms, other than a few downed power lines and trees.
In addition to the tornado reports, large golf ball- to softball-sized hail fell in the storm that stretched from Parker County to Dallas County.
As a reminder, the National Weather Service must verify all tornadoes. Funnel clouds must touch the ground before they are tornadoes.
People in the path of the storms are encouraged to move to a safe area while the storm passes.
There also have been reports of damage to homes in the Saginaw area. Severe thunderstorm warnings continued early into the morning Wednesday in Henderson and Van Zandt Counties as the storms moved into East Texas.