April 3rd, 2012
02:51 PM ET

Tornadoes thrash Dallas area

Multiple tornadoes struck the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas early Tuesday afternoon. CNN and its Texas affiliates are updating developments as they come in.

Are you there? When it is safe to do so, share your pictures and video via iReport.

Follow continuing developments here.

[Update 3:51 p.m. ET] Lt. Tim Jones of the Johnson County sheriff's department told CNN that "911 is going off the wall with people calling in with reports of sightings."

He reported multiple tornado touchdowns across the county, including in the city of Cleburne, south of Fort Worth and southwest of Dallas.

A new tornado warning was issued about 2:45 p.m. CT for Arlington, which is between Dallas and Fort Worth.

[Update 3:40 p.m. ET] DFW airport spokesman David Magana told CNN that people in the airport's passenger terminals had been herded away from windows in waiting areas.

"We have all kinds of shelters. We use all the available space we have including stairwells, store rooms and restrooms, that we can use," Magana said. "We're not shy about moving people around."

He advised people to stay away from the airport until all danger had passed.

[Update 3:33 p.m. ET] CNN's Ed Lavandera, who was in Dallas when the tornado struck, said there were several isolated cells of storms throughout the area.
Lavandara said the track of one tornado would have taken it through a heavily populated area near the stadiums of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers, as well as Six Flags amusement park. If the storm had stayed on the ground there, it would have caused catastrophic devastation, he said.

"We right now are in shelter ourselves," Red Cross spokesperson Anita Foster told CNN. "Some of our teams that are on the southern end of the metroplex have started making plans for how we are going to respond . ... Many people are going to need help."

She said Red Cross workers would fan out across the area "as soon as it's safe, as soon as we can get out of our door."
Foster warned people to heed warning sirens and seek shelter in interior areas of structures.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport halted all takeoffs and landings until the storm system ends.
CNN meteoroligist said hailstones 3 inches in diameter were being reported. CNN affiliate CBSDFW showed evening-like darkness amid heavy rain at 2:25 p.m. CT.

[Update 3:13 p.m. ET] At 2:05 pm CT (3:05 ET) Tuesday afternoon, trained weather spotters reported a tornado on the ground five miles east of downtown Dallas, Texas. The tornado is moving northeast at 20 mph.

[Update 3:09 p.m. ET] After the tornado passed through, CNN affiliate CBSDFW showed dozens of orange Schneider trucks in various states of damage and disarray.

CNN affiliate WFAA showed severe damage to some homes in Lancaster,  Texas.

[Update 2:59 p.m. ET] Separate tornadoes in Texas barreled toward the Dallas-Forth Worth area Tuesday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue tornado emergencies.
Video from CNN affiliate WFAA broadcast dramatic footage of the scene, showing truck trailers being lifted and tossed like toys. Ominous clouds filled the skies.
There were no immediate reports of major injuries or damage, but CNN's Chad Myers said the worst may be yet to come.
"Both storms right now are getting bigger. They both have been rotating, and they both have significant possibilities of damage on the ground heading into DFW," he said.
The weather service urged people in the area to move to a bathroom, closet or hallway on the lowest floor of their buildings and take cover.

[Original post 2:51 p.m. ET] An apparent tornado ripped through Dallas County, Texas, Tuesday afternoon.

A news helicopter from Dallas CNN affiliate WFAA followed a funnel cloud churning through a truck terminal, tossing 80-foot metal cargo trailers hundreds of feet in the air.

CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras tweeted, "Watching homes being damaged now in Dallas. Large pieces of debris in the air. Lots of power flashes."

Check back frequently for updates as this story continues to develop.

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Filed under: Texas • Tornadoes • Weather
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. tokuiten

    Oh, Dallas. We go through this every spring. Every time I think I like living here, spring rolls around and I remember what I hate about this place.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. matthew

    I hope they had geico insurance

    April 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. wallybird1234

    Yikes. The big magical sky-faerie sure isnt happy about sumthin' – because as we're told, such things are "his will."

    April 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mike

    God must hate the Bible Belt, considering all the tornadoes and hurricanes he sends there.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tom

    The trailers are either 48 or 53 feet, not 80 feet. But still pretty freaky to see nonetheless.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mobetta

      Never let it be said CNN checks for accuracy....

      April 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pmn

    Hmmm...keep those tornadoes North. I see start of some storm clouds rolling into Central Texas now. We were expecting a front late this afternoon nothing like this.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anne

    Well now I am THRILLED I was on the 6:30AM flight to Dallas from New Orleans. Wow that is scary stuff and we were just ahead of the storm.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Phil Spectre

    They LOVE this sort of thing in Dallas.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Daniela

    Tornados scare me to death. I hope everyone is ok...

    April 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      Thank you!

      April 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John Smith

    Take that, stupid teabaggers!

    April 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      Not funny, you sorry piece of ѕhіt!

      April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • TriXen

      ..and that last comment was directed at you, John Smith.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pop

    Here come 2012 economic crisis. INSURANCE.... INSURANCE...

    April 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. drewatx

    Yeah.. it must be God being angry.. you jack a s s e s on the east and west coast should buckle down and prepare for what's coming to you later in the summer ... love to see your posts then when you're underwater..

    April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Bettina

      We won't be underwater unless you believe in "Global Warning".

      April 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. xab

    Less Texas fundy voters. I'm supposed to care?

    April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. midogs2

    Launching tractor trailors, like 12 year old boys launching boogers..............nice............

    April 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. baddab

    correction...those are NOT 80 foot long trailers....they are 53 foot....and do NOT weigh 80,000 lbs as reported....the max weight of the cargo inside the trailer can be close to 46,000 lbs....they are only 80 foot long and 80,000 lbs when hooked to a tractor to pull them.....

    but to tell you the strength of a tornado, I have seen loaded rail cars that easily exceed 80,000 lbs lifted off the tracks and thrown to the side as easily as those trailers were in the video

    April 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
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