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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It was confirmed Friday that a tornado ripped apart and tossed around large pieces of metal at a busy Fort Worth office building on Thursday evening, and employees there feel lucky that nobody was injured. This happened at around 4:15 p.m. as storms pushed through North Texas near the intersection of Interstate-35W and Loop 820.
The tornado’s path started near the intersection of Interstate-35W and 28th Street, and went across the highway, ending just north of Loop 820.
Video captured the incident as it took place. The office building’s roof included a large metal facade. Those metal sheets were torn away from the building, and looked like pieces of paper as they danced in the air. But the roof itself remained intact.
It was hard to miss the damage in this area on Friday morning. Debris remained scattered across roads and parking lots, even hundreds of feet away from the office building. The giant metal sheets were wrapped around vehicles. Windows were smashed and an iron fence was knocked down. Trees were snapped in half.
Most of the office building’s employees rode out the storm in bathrooms. There were no injuries reported.
“I was in the building when it happened,” said Jenny Rickner. “The wind and the rain direction changed — went from straight down, hard rain to sideways rain. I was on the phone and doing some work and realized, when the trees were blowing so hard or about to snap, that this wasn’t just wind.”
The storm lasted less than a minute, but it felt like an eternity for those inside of the building. “We went into panic mode,” Eva Harvey said. “It felt like about 30 seconds later, it was calm and it was very terrifying.”
“It picked my truck up and slammed it,” stated Michael Rydens, who also works at the office building and was in a stairwell as the tornado hit. “My windshield is completely gone. Both of my front tires are flat. So, the impact from it was pretty hard.”
The National Weather Service arrived in north Fort Worth on Friday to assess the damage. They determined that it was in fact an EF-0 tornado with 90 mph winds that hit this area. Meanwhile, the office building’s parking lot remains closed off, and the building will be closed until Monday, at least.
“I’m thinking wow,” said Mark Fox with the National Weather Service. “Obviously very powerful when it came through.”