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. Essie

    I'm here in Dallas, and thank GOD we are safe & unharmed! My sincere prayers goes out to those who were in any way affected by the tornado. ~May GOD be with you...Amen.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Thank you, Essie.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    My dughter just landed there; she landed and then a short while later.
    She said that although many people from there were terrified, she wasn't quite as frightened, as we are in the Midwest.
    (Meaning, I suppose, she didn't *actually* pee her pants!)
    She have *me* a heart attack, though; I couldn't handle it if anything happened to her....
    I hope that the people of TX are all right...

    April 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Made some typos and incomplete sentences.
      Still shook up.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @banasy: i do hope your daughter remains unscathed.

      but in defense of the people in the dfw metroplex, they are no strangers to tornadoes. if they seemed more panicked than she, i'm sure it's because their homes and families were potentially in the line of fire..

      April 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • centexan¬©

      Banasy...i do hope ur daughter is ok...i haven't heard any reports of damage at DFW airport. Looks like the storm has moved east of there. I'm way south of it.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Thanks for your concern, centexan.
      She's due for another storm.
      She said the sky is absolutely black, and the thunder/lightning is starting.
      I couldn't handle it if I lost another child.
      I'm scared for her....

      April 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Essie

      @Banasy... I'm truly glad that your daughter landed safe! I know that could very well be frightening for a mother knowing that her child was those close to a tornado, in the sky! ...Thanks be to GOD she is alright!

      April 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    I am sure your right, lee.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    She got off the plane and immediately had to go to shelter at the aitport...two minutes later the twister hit, but missed the airport...and I'm talking to her right now, and now another storm cell is rolling in...I'm sorry, and my thoughts are with the people of TX, but my heart is with my daughter....

    April 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    I used to live near this area when I was a pup of 19. A friend of mine from Colorado came down to visit, and one night we found ourselves on the road from stephenville when the radio went EMERGENCY MODE. warning: 6 tornados spotted 14 miles south of Granbury. Zane, by friend, noticed the highway sign: Granbury......14 miles. He looked at me as lightning struck. His hair was standing straight up and his eyes were like saucers. I started lmao. The flashes blinded me so I couldn't see the road as I slowed down. The roadside markers tapped my side mirror to let me know. Poor old Zane was with me going round in circles down a frozen I-70 near Copper Mountain Colorado later that winter. And then we went to Cedar City Utah and set the world record for the deepest well ever drilled using aerated fluids. Ho-hum. Record still stands as far as I know.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    At least when the tornado hit a block away from my house a few years ago, I had the good sense to sleep right through it...

    April 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    What to do in case of tornado. Open all the windows in your house, and crank "Rifing the Storm Out" by, was it REO Speedwagon? I never really was into them. I liked George Jones and Rush.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. saywhat

    @ banasy
    Glad your daughter is safe. My best wishes for her. Hope & pray that there is no loss of life in the affected areas.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      Danger isn't over yet...I hope it is soon...

      April 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    Really. Opening your windows reduces the pressure differential between outside and insdide your home. This differential pressure can literally suck your roof off. And really crank loud music too. The sounds of a Tornado are horrifyingly terrifying to small children and weaker men than I. he he. The same year as my story i had my right eardrum trashed by an exploding booster compressor. All I had to do to erase the sound was peel my ear to one of my Cerwin Vega 18" DVC subwoofers and half crank my amp half way.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      @philip: mythbusters busted that myth.. the open/closed windows part, i mean. do what you want with your stereo. lol

      April 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven

    We all got it coming.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Philip

    You slept thru a tornado? Do you just have the one good ear too banasy? And hope your daughter is safe. That little nook on the earths surface attracts tornados like flies get attracted to armadillo dung. Flies and runt of the bunch German Shorthair pointers.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy¬©

      @ Philip:
      No, I have two good ears, lol.
      I am just so used to sleeping through T-storms, and I was aware of it, but didn't really pay attention and went back to sleep.
      The sirens didn't go off in the way they were supposed to,
      Thank you for your hope...I share it.
      I'm man enough to admit I'm scared...lol...

      April 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |

    nice 1 bro i like ur convfidence

    April 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. saywhat

    @ banasy

    May she remain safe along with others. Pl keep up your spirits. Our prayers are for her and others who are travelling with her.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    The big scare at Dallas Ft. Worth airport is their sheer winds. Verticle winds blowing downward that slam dunk jetliners. There's just something about that area and weather. I was in Ft. worth when they had the worst hailstorm in US HISTORY, property damage wise. Freaking cantalope size hail borderline freaking bowling ball....AND TORNADOS!!! holy crap! It blew part of our drilling rig over!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jasmie

    I hope my cousin and everybody who is in Texas will keep safe

    April 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
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