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. mike

    The great sky wizard is punishing Texas for harboring Rick Perry and GWB.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike n Big D

      Im in a stairwell right now & I think you are hilarious.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • government cheese


      April 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shay

      LOL in Irving, TX

      April 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kingofthenet

    Can't they just Execute this Tornado?

    April 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      No, the tornado isn't mentally handicapped or minority, so it doesn't meet Texas execution standards.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Sarcastro

    No worries- tornadoes are Science. We red-staters all know Science doesn't exist.

    I suggest going outside and playing ASAP, especially those around the DFW area.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike n Big D

      If someone dies are you going to continue to be a sarcastic dick ?

      April 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dreatx

    keep in mind Morons that the state of Texas is taking all the tech jobs from California - We have a better economy than any other state in the Union.. and WE'LL KICK ALL YOUR BUTTS.. just as soon as we get rid of Rick Perry..lol

    April 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sarcastro

    Good news! The tornado is underage- that means you can just execute it!

    April 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Only if it is also mentally handicapped.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Honey

    Looks like the Haarp is hard at work again

    April 3, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Peter

    Thats a sighn of da end times guys, repent, jesus is soon coming

    April 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Honey

    I don't know if Jesus is coming, but I do believe that the Department of Navy, USAF, Darpa, Haarp, CIA and the oval office are involved. I know it is hard to believe, but the government manufactures weather, and they want to do us in, this is true. This is another manmade event.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @honey: lol. you people kill me

      April 3, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Essie

      @Honey....you need some serious medical attention & possibly one of those designer "white jackets"....(looney tune!)

      April 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BeezerGeezer

    FYI those Schneider National Carriers dry van trailers being lifted into the weigh aproximately 16,000 pounds empty.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Phil Spectre

    They absolutely ADORE this in Dallas...

    April 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chinita

    god bless these people. we may not knw exactly what they are experiencing buht i have couple people over there. guide n protect them. keep them safe in ure arms from beginning to end, BE SAFE DJ

    April 3, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Reporter


    April 3, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      no, kitty, that's *MY* potpie..

      April 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. leeintulsa

    no haarp necessary. that area has always been prone. in rockwall, we had a storm cellar. last big collection of twisters around there.. i think.. was wichita falls when i was young. something like 4 or 5 hit at once. and that was well before haarp. might have been before pong.. lol

    hope everyone fares alright. haven't talked to anyone there in years, but had some good friends there, particularly around arlington, and the heb/irving area.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jim e

    dude, do a wee bit o' research, why don't ya? semi trailers are NOT about " 80 feet long", 53 feet is the largest used without special permits...

    April 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • GinnyM


      April 3, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @jim e: i used to issue oversize/overweight permits for comdata. unless things have changed in the last 18 years, 53 requires a special permit in many instances. 48 was standard..

      April 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dazzle ©

    I just spoke with a colleague in Plano and she reports that all is calm there, but they are being evacuated as a precautionary measure.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
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