Possible Tornadoes Touch Down Across North Texas

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – What was expected to be an afternoon of storms with heavy rain and possible hail quickly turned into tornado emergencies for cities across North Texas.

Amazingly, there have been no reports of death or serious injury from any of the more than one dozen counties in North Texas. Late Tuesday afternoon the National Weather Service (NWS) released extremely preliminary information that put the unofficial tornado count in North Texas at 12.

MORE: Storm Team Blog -Largest Tornado Outbreaks in North Texas

Tuesday afternoon, simultaneous storms in Dallas and Tarrant counties produced the believed multiple tornadoes. The NWS will have to determine is there were actual twisters in Arlington, Cleburne, DeSoto, Forney, Joshua, Kennedale, Lancaster Mesquite and Royse City.

Regardless, residents in those areas have their own ideas.

In Lancaster, residents in the Rolling Hills area, near Wintergreen and Rodgers, are dealing with home damage ranging fro shingles missing from the roof to entire sections of homes blown away.

Roy Griffin rode out the storm in an inner closet. When he walked outside many of his neighbors homes were simply missing and his pickup truck was blown half a block away and sat on its side.

Four buildings in the Portofino Apartments in Lancaster were severely damaged. Those units have been evacuated and are unlivable. The believed tornado cut a path through a row of buildings extending through the apartment complex. Late Tuesday evening some residents returned to the area and began removing large debris. At one point there was an overturned car in the parking lot and downed power lines.

Lancaster Mayor Marcus Knight held an afternoon press conference where he said the tornado that touched down there entered from the south and traveled northwest up Interstate-20.

“Roughly 300 structures have been affected by the tornado — various degrees from severe, to slight,” he said. “We have multiple injuries that have been reported, although no causalities have been confirmed or been reported at this time.”

Knight also said city leaders decided that no one should be on the streets of Lancaster come nightfall. “We have established a curfew from 7 p.m. tonight through 7 a.m. in the morning,” Knight explained. “We have cordoned off Telephone Road to our north, Bayport to our south, Pebble Beach to the east and Sunny Meadow to the west. That area has been deemed to dangerous for anyone to enter into.”

One employee at a Lancaster CVS Pharmacy location said, “We were in the cooler, just trying to get ready. We were trying to shut the pharmacy down and they told us that the tornado was in the parking lot.”

In Arlington, along Little Road and Pine Glen, damage varied from house-to-house. Some homeowners had little to no damage with their next door neighbors left with holes in roof, blown out windows and toppled fences.

CBS 11 News viewers are not only dealing with possible tornado damage but also sent pictures to CBSDFW.COM of golf ball-sized hail.

The consensus is that residents are simply stunned. One woman in Arlington was walking the streets collecting pictures. She told CBS 11 that the pictures were obviously the treasures of people in the community and she wanted to gather them and try and find their owners later.

In Johnson County, firefighters say there were two tornadoes that touched down there. One touched down east of Joshua and another to the southeast. The twister east of town did little or no damage, but the one southeast of town was on the ground for about a full minute damaging four homes and destroying several out buildings.

near joshua Possible Tornadoes Touch Down Across North Texas

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

An 85-year-old Johnson County resident told CBS 11’s Joel Thomas that while she usually ‘doesn’t get out much’ she felt ‘antsy’ today. The woman decided to go to church and wasn’t at home when the storm completely destroyed her mobile home, blowing the inner walls into a neighboring house. While all of the walls of the mobile home were down and the roof completely gone, inside the closet all of the elderly woman’s clothes sat undamaged.

Sheltering from the storm was the main concern across North Texas. At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport all plane departures and arrivals were cancelled by mid-afternoon. At one point airport spokesman David Magana said they were moving passengers, “…away from all of the glass areas on the edges of the terminals and into the centered areas of the terminal and away from the windows as much as we can.”

As of the afternoon hours, dozens of inbound DFW flights were diverted to Abilene, Houston, Shreveport, El Paso, San Antonio and several other cities. In all, some 400 departing flights were canceled.  DFW reported that more than 110 planes at the airport sustained some degree of damage.

At Dallas Love Field some 45 flights, in and out of the airport, were cancelled. Though strong storms moved through the Mockingbird area the airport had no reports of damages.

Anyone with travel planes today or tomorrow is advised to contact their departing airport.

Students across North Texas took cover as storms rolled through. The Dallas Independent School District sheltered students in place and held them at area schools until the storms passed. Students in the Arlington, Fort Worth and Irving ISDs were also sent to safe areas.

A believed tornado touched down in Irving and caused damage at Townsell Elementary School. Minor damage to the building was reported including a ruptured gas line and damage to two HVAC units.  No one at the school was injured.

Traffic issues were concerns across North Texas. An 18-wheeler jackknifed in a construction zone along Interstate-20, west of Weatherford. All westbound lanes were blocked and some eastbound lanes were affected.

Other highways and byways were clogged with slowed or completely stopped traffic.
The storm has left thousands of residents without power, as reported by Oncor, which services homes and businesses Dallas County, Tarrant, Johnson, Denton, Collin, Parker, Kaufman counties.

Click here to check out Oncor’s Enhanced Power Outage Map.

At least one emergency shelter has been set up residents who have been displaced by the storm. The shelter has been set up at Kiest Place, located at 3080 S. Hampton Road in Dallas.

  • http://dallasforme.com/2012/04/possible-tornadoes-touch-down-across-north-texas/ » Possible Tornadoes Touch Down Across North Texas Me and the Chicks

    […] heavy rain and possible hail quickly turned into tornado emergencies for cities across North Texas. More from: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/0… Filed under Uncategorized | Leave a […]

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/possible-tornadoes-touch-down-across-north-texas/ Possible Tornadoes Touch Down Across North Texas « Fort Worth News Feeds

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  • Jackaroo

    POSSIBLE tornadoes? Who’s the idiot that came up with this headline? What ELSE tosses tractor-trailers and levels homes? A stiff wind?

    • chisolm

      possible tornadoes,,,wheres the damaged airplane hysteria drudge is crowing about

      • bob

        He linked to the wrong story. It’s on AP and NBC websites

      • bob

        Now it just came up at the bottom of this story

    • mingthemerciless


    • mingthemerciless

      “Who’s the idiot that came up with this headline? What ELSE tosses tractor-trailers and levels homes? A stiff wind?”


  • Dingdongdang

    “Possible Tornadoes Touch Down Across North Texas”?

    Did the wind also “allegedly blow hard”?

    • Liberals: Useful Idiots

      Hillary does – she’s intimidated by Monica L.

  • Novus

    Yes, Jackaroo. Try looking up “microbursts” or “downbursts” sometime. They would certainly qualify as a “stiff wind,” and they’re also very much capable of tossing tractor trailers and leveling homes.

    While much of today’s damage probably was from tornados, there’s a chance some of it wasn’t. Before you call the headline writer an idiot, try making sure you have the knowledge to back it up yourself first.

    • chris

      Good point there Novus. But how about when they actually have many of those tornadoes on video or in still pics? I’d also point out that when doppler radar shows rotation in the areas damaged, it most likely wasn’t a microburst, downburst, windshear, or anything else other than a tornado. Now then, what was that you were saying about having “knowledge”, hmm?

    • bob

      Micro and downbursts don’t pick up trailers. They can knock down planes and level homes, but they don’t pick up vehicles and toss them hundreds of feet into the air, Besides, there are dozens of videos of the tornadoes. Maybe you haven’t watched the news.

    • AK

      Being that there was at least 12 confirmed tornados that touched down, your comment is irrelevant. That is why Jackaroo was asking about the headline. Being that the news confirmed the tornados. So the “possible” part is a dumb headline.

    • t0m

      Amen! At last someone who can think.

  • Jovina

    I thought CBS had learned not to preempt regular programs for round-the-clock weathe reports, which have been ongoing for hours.

    • Rick

      Yeah, Chanel 8 is showing Dancing with the Stars and we are getting re-runs of everything we have been seeing all afternoon on all chanels even MSNBC. Are they going to run their regular programming in its entirety later?

    • 2sister

      There are things more important than television programs. These storms were very severe. So far no deaths have been reported. That’s probably largely due to warnings and news coverages.

      • 2sister

        Also, I’m glad one station is still reporting on the damage. I know someone who house was damaged. It does us good to see the damage and think of others.

      • 2sister

        Actually, it’s probably largely do to God, warnings and news coverage, in that order.

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  • The Sage Waitress

    Thankfully, these were no F5s. Dallas residents are familiar with bad weather and the emergency alert system and media coverage seems to have done a fine job. I have not heard any reports of fatalities yet.

    Lots of cleanup to do. My sympathies to all of those whose lives were disrupted.

  • http://www.freedomreport.org/12-twisters-strike-n-tx/ 12 TWISTERS STRIKE N TX… | Freedom Report

    […] headline, 1st story, link) Related stories: Supercells…UPDATES…110 planes at airport sustained damage…WILD VIDEO…See Tractor Trailers […]

  • Joyce Greeene

    I have friends that live in the area. She said that they were all ok and that they had just had their power restored. Her neighbor’s dog was missing-and other than that no one injured there in their area. Grateful that there were no deaths considering all of flying tractor-trailers and debris..

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    […] were also reported in Cleburne, Kennedale, Royse City, DeSoto and Mesquite. (Click here to read more about the damage.) The storms hit North Texas just the usual peak of tornado season was kicking off. April is […]

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