Tue April 3, 2012
Tornadoes Touch Down Near Dallas; Widespread Damage Reported
Originally published on Tue April 3, 2012 4:58 pm
"We've got two tornadoes, one in Dallas and one in Arlington. I just watched it plow through a tractor trailer parking lot like it was Godzilla in a temper tantrum."
That's how NPR's Wade Goodwyn just described the images being shown on local television in Texas.
The images from WFAA, the local ABC affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, show tractor trailers flailing across the air in the middle of a dark debris ball.
Wade tells our Newscast unit that while in the tornado alley these kinds of occurrences are usual, people in the area still have a genuine respect for the power of tornadoes.
Quoting the weather service, the AP says there are already reports of "considerable damage."
We'll have more as this story develops.
Update at 6:52 p.m. ET. Widespread Damage, No Casualties:
The local CBS affiliate in Dallas reports that the mayor of Lancaster, one of the hardest hit cities, reports that there are multiple injuries and 300 structures damaged. But Marcus Knight said there are no reports of fatalities.
The station also reports that Arlington and Lancaster have declared states of disaster.
Update at 4:35 p.m. ET. American Airlines Cancels All Flights:
On Twitter, American Airlines announced that it has cancelled all its flights out of the DFW Airport through the rest of the evening.
Lupe Valdez, the Dallas County Sheriff, tells CNN that her office has no reports of casualties but that she had to pull her officers from doing house-by-house assessments because more severe weather is on its way.
NPR's Guy Raz was at the Dallas airport this evening and he filed this report for our Newscast unit:
Update at 3:21 p.m. ET. Tractors In The Air:
Here's that video from WFAA we referenced earlier. If you look closely, you'll see the tornado pick up tractor trailers and send them flying hundreds of yards:
Update at 3:14 p.m. ET. DFW Airport On Ground Hold:
The Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport, a major hub for American Airlines, just sent out this tweet:
"If you are inside one of our terminals, please seek shelter in one of the designated storm areas."
The Star-Telegram reports that the FAA has "also issued a ground stop for flights coming and out of DFW Airport because of the storms on the ground."
Update at 3:05 p.m. ET. Early Reports Of Damage:
WFAA reports that the Six Flags in Arlington, which sits in between Fort Worth and Dallas, has sustained some damage.
"Johnson County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Jones said he's trying to find a place to set up a command center.
"'We've had a couple of houses hit near Joshua out on 704. As far as I know we have no injuries yet.'"
WFAA is currently showing images of a dozens of wrecked homes. Residents have emerged from their homes to check the damage. The images show blown roofs and toppled trees.