Tornado Touches Down in Dallas; Major Damage Reported

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2019-10-21 05:39:17

A confirmed tornado left major damage in Dallas, Richardson and Garland Sunday.

Morning commuters are being urged to avoid the affected areas as emergency services work to clear and repair major roadways.

Tornado Touches Down in DallasTornado Touches Down in Dallas

The National Weather Service confirmed the twister touched down near Love Field Airport before moving northeast through the city.

There were no reports of fatalities or serious injuries as of 12:20 a.m. Monday, according to a release from the city of Dallas. Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said three people were hospitalized with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

A shelter is available at the Bachman Recreation Center for anyone who may need it. The address is 2750 Bachman Drive and doors opened at 2 a.m.

Most of the damage is limited to the area bordered, from North to South, by Royal Lane to Northwest Highway; and East to West, by Interstate 75 and Harry Hines Boulevard, DFR said.

Seven people escaped a structure that collapsed in Northwest Dallas, but Dallas Fire-Rescue were searching to see if anyone was left inside, Evans said. Dallas firefighters had also received multiple calls from people injured in their homes by broken glass.

Dallas police said officers in one part of the city were going door-to-door to check on residents. DFR search teams spent about six hours assessing buildings damaged in the storm, Evans said. A second set of teams will resume search efforts during the day when the damage is more visible.

Among the buildings destroyed in the tornado was DFR station 41, where the roof and other parts of the building were removed by high winds. None of the firefighters inside the station at the time were injured, Evans said.

Citing extensive damage to campuses, the Dallas Independent School District canceled Monday classes at six schools: David G. Burnet Elementary School, Leonides Gonzalez Cigarroa Elementary School, John J. Pershing Elementary School, Walnut Hill Elementary School, Edward H. Cary Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School. The Episcopal School of Dallas also canceled classes. The schools are all in northwest Dallas.

Midlothian ISD also canceled classes at all of its campuses Monday due to extensive power outages.

One of the first scenes that NBC 5 crews arrived at was the Floors Masters building along Harry Hines Boulevard, just south of Walnut Hill Lane. The entire front of the building collapsed.

Another area that was hit hard was a shopping center near Marsh and Walnut Hill Lane. Photos show the front facade of the building peeled off.

Dallas officers are going door-to-door, east of the 9600 block of Brockbank Drive, to check the status of residents after the severe storm left damages.

There is more damage along St. Michaels Drive, just north of Royal Lane, about a mile west of U.S. Hwy 75. In that neighborhood, it seems most of the damage is trees and power lines that are down. Police officers are in that area blocking off the roads.  Initial observations seem that no homes have collapsed in this specific area and so far no injuries have been reported in that immediate area. 

Major damage was also seen in Richardson, near Richland College, where police were seen going door-to-door checking on people after the storm moved across. Our crews observed a lot of trees down in the neighborhood and some roof damage to homes in the area.

Major roads currently closed and under repair are:

• Centennial Blvd. between Bowser Rd. and Grove Rd.
• Abrams Rd. between Buckingham Rd. and Park Bend Dr.
• Bowser Rd. between Centennial Blvd. and Buckingham Rd.
• Coit Rd. at Spring Valley Rd (open but treated as a 4-way stop)

Road crews are working to clear blocked roadways of debris and to repair down traffic lights as soon as possible, but major thoroughfares used by thousands of morning commuters will be closed while the repair work is underway. (Published Oct. 21, 2019)

Photo credit: City of Richardson

Back in the area near I-635 and I-35E, Meletio Lighting was also hit hard. NBC 5 crews there observed windows of that business blown out and many of the lighting fixtures in the store damaged.  

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