Texas tornadoes flatten homes, interrupt flights from Dallas-Forth Worth area

April 4, 2012

A series of storms and tornadoes swept through North Texas on Tuesday, flattening homes and sending residents rushing for shelter. As the Associated Press reported:

The National Weather Service said as many as a dozen twisters touched down in a wrecking-ball swath of violent weather that stretched across Dallas and Fort Worth. The destructive reminder of a young tornado season Tuesday left thousands without power and hundreds of homes pummeled or worse.

Despite the intensity of the slow-moving storms, only a handful of people were hurt, a couple of them seriously, and no fatalities were reported as of late Tuesday.

As the sun rose Wednesday over the southern Dallas suburb of Lancaster, one of the hardest hit areas, it was clear that twisters had bounced in and out of neighborhoods, destroying homes at random. Vehicles were tossed like toys, coming to rest in living rooms and bedrooms.

At one house, a tornado had seemingly dipped into the building like an immersion blender, spinning directly down through an upstairs bedroom and wreaking havoc in the family room below before lifting straight back up and away. A grandfather clock leaned slightly but otherwise stood pristine against a wall at the back of the downstairs room that was filled with smashed furniture and fallen support beams.

The Red Cross estimated that 650 homes were damaged. Around 150 Lancaster residents stayed in a shelter Tuesday night.

“I guess ‘shock’ is probably a good word,” Lancaster Mayor Marcus Knight said.

The exact number and strength of the tornadoes won’t be known until surveyors have fanned across North Texas, looking for clues among the debris that blanketed yards and rooftops peeled off slats. National Weather Service meteorologist Jesse Moore said Wednesday that the damage in Arlington suggested an EF2 twister struck there. EF2 tornadoes are classified as having wind gusts between 111 and 135 mph.

See photos and videos from across North Texas residents and news outlets of the tornadoes and resulting damage .

As a string of powerful tornadoes tore through the Dallas region Tuesday, dozens of Texans became citizen journalists, whipping out their iPhones, flip cams and other devices to capture the twisters’ destructive path.

The images are incredible. See some of the citizen photos here

Flights were canceled across the country as tornadoes and the storms which came with them pummeled the transit hub of DFW Airport as well as Love Field. As AP explained:

American Airlines canceled nearly all departures from its hub at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and the airport says hail damaged dozens of planes as powerful storms and tornadoes moved through the area.

DFW Airport spokesman David Magana says more than 110 planes were damaged by hail. It wasn’t clear how many belong to American Airlines, but American and American Eagle had pulled 101 planes out of service for inspections.

American had canceled more than 450 flights by late Tuesday afternoon.

Southwest Airlines says it canceled more than 45 flights in and out of its big base at Dallas Love Field. Spokesman Paul Flaningan says no Southwest planes were damaged.

More from The Washington Post

Dallas-area tornadoes leave trail of damage

CWG: Three confirmed tornadoes strike Dallas, Ft. Worth Texas area

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