Large tornadoes, damage reported in Dallas area
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
DALLAS (AP) — More than a dozen injuries ranging from minor to severe have been reported after tornadoes and violent storms raked through the Dallas area.
Officer Paul Beck in the Dallas suburb of Lancaster says 10 people were injured when a reported tornado touched down there Tuesday. He says two of those injuries are severe but did not have further details.
Assistant Arlington fire chief Jim Self said three people suffered minor injuries there. They include two residents of a nursing home who were taken to a hospital after swirling winds clipped the building.
At least two tornadoes tore through the area, peeling roofs off homes, tossing big-rig trucks into the air and leaving flattened tractor trailers strewn along highways and parking lots.
The National Weather Service confirmed at least two separate “large and extremely dangerous” tornadoes. Several other developing twisters were reported as a band of violent storms crept through the metropolitan area, destroying mobile homes and forcing hundreds of flight cancellations at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Highway video cameras showed a large, dark funnel cloud moving on the ground not far from a busy Dallas interstate early Tuesday afternoon. Big-rig tractor trailers crumpled like soda cans littered an industrial parking lot, and flattened trailers clogged the sides of highways and access roads.
In Lancaster, south of Dallas, television helicopters panned over exposed homes without roofs and flattened buildings. Broken sheets of plywood blanketed lawns and covered rooftops. Residents could be seen walking down the street with firefighters and peering into homes, looking at the damage after the storm passed.
Devlin Norwood said he was at his Lancaster home when he heard the storm sirens. He said he made a quick trip to a nearby store when he saw the funnel-shaped tornado lower, kick up debris and head toward his neighborhood.
“I didn’t see any damage until I got back home. We had trees destroyed, fences down, boards down, boards penetrating the roof and the house, shingles damaged,” said Norwood, 50, an accountant and graduate student.
The storm pushed cars into fences and toppled trees. Branches and limbs scattered across lawns and residential streets, and in one driveway, a tow-behind RV was left torn apart and crumpled.
Dallas Police spokeswoman Sherri Jeffrey said an apparent twister also touched down and caused damage within the city’s southern limits, though the extent was not immediately known.
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