Planes grounded as tornadoes rip through Dallas
Tornadoes tore through the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in Texas on Tuesday, ripping apart buildings, tossing tractor trailer trucks into the air and grounding all planes in the region.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths although the storm was still active.
One tornado tore through the Flying J Truck Plaza in Dallas, grabbing two trailer trucks and tossing them, said truck driver Michael Glennon, who caught the destruction on his video camera as debris swirled through the air.
A car is crushed by a flying semi-trailer. Photo: AP
“The second trailer is ripped to pieces and thrown 50 to 100 feet into the air,” he said.
National Weather Service meteorologist Amber Elliott said there were “reports of wall clouds and funnel clouds all over the area. It’s an extremely dangerous situation.”
All planes were grounded at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport, the eighth busiest in the world, because of reports of storms and tornadoes, American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said.
Roads are left strewn with debris. Photo: AP
Dallas-Fort Worth airport spokesman David Magana said officials ordered passengers away from windows and directed them into stairwells and restrooms.
At the nearby Omni Mandalay Las Colinas hotel, tornado sirens sounded, alerting guests to get to safety.
“The hotel has not been evacuated but we do have guests under cover,” said a telephone receptionist at 421-room hotel.
Part of a roof is torn off a home in Arlington, Texas. Photo: AP/Fox News
WFAA television in Dallas aired footage showing residents in one hard-hit neighborhood frantically directing a policeman, who appeared to be searching for people trapped by the storm.
The surrounding streets were littered with fallen trees and other storm-generated debris.
CNN showed video from Dallas County showing a residential neighborhood where many homes had sustained serious structural damage, some missing their roofs or second stories missing, some reduced to rubble.
A semi-trailer is left upturned on a Texas road after a series of tornadoes hit. Photo: AP
Video of a parking lot of a trucking company showed large trucks piled on top of one another, and some had their roofs ripped off.
The reports of tornadoes followed a “tornado emergency” declared by the National Weather Service for the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas on Tuesday.
“Two tornadoes are currently affecting the DFW metroplex. Take cover now!” said a warning on the National Weather Service website.