It has been confirmed that seven tornadoes struck the Dallas-Fort Worth area during the storms that occurred late Sunday night. The worst of these tornadoes was an EF-3 tornado that contained 140 mile per hour winds. While no one was killed or badly injured, the storm caused devastation that went on for 15 miles, from northwest Dallas to Richardson.
Midlothian was struck by a quick but strong tornado, containing winds going 100 miles per hour, Ferris had a brief tornado going 85 miles per hour and Garland experienced an EF-2 tornado going 135 miles per hour. Rockwall was hit by a tornado that contained wind going 90 miles per hour, while Stephenville experienced wind at 80 miles per hour. Two less powerful tornadoes struck Rowlett and Willis Point, respectively.
National Weather Service experts might be extending surveys into Wednesday, as there is a possibility more tornadoes could have struck.
In its assessment of structures released Tuesday morning, the Dallas Fire Rescue counted that there were 67 buildings totally destroyed, 202 buildings with major damage and 175 with minor damage.
Along with this, a large number of businesses and homeowners were left without power. As of Tuesday morning, 120,000 people have had their power restored since Sunday night. However, approximately 32,000 people have still been left without power because several power structures were completely destroyed and will have to be rebuilt.
Will Lindberg, an SFA alumnus from Plano, said, “One of my dad’s clients had the power lines taken down which heavily affected his business and it’s going to take like three days to get his stuff back to work.”
Clay Jenkins, the Dallas County Judge, declared a local disaster, a devastation that has caused widespread loss, for the purpose of obtaining fast help with repairs and clean- up of the destruction caused by the storm. Greg Abbott, Texas Gov., declared a state of disaster in 15 counties across north Texas.
Several students who attend SFA, upon hearing about the tornadoes Sunday night, were quick to reach out to family members and friends living in Dallas to make sure they were alright.
“I was very scared for my family’s safety,” said Junior Gannon Boyer, finance major from The Colony. “Once I saw photos of the devastation, I had to call them to confirm they were safe.”
While some students were quickly assured that their family members were fine and that they hadn’t experienced anything, others were informed that the tornado did affect their family members, like SFA student Sydney Miller, whose sister was stuck in a gas station for the duration of the storm.
“Honestly it was pretty scary getting the call from my mom that my sister was stuck in a gas station with her dog three hours away from me,” said Miller, a senior criminal justice major from Keller. “The tornado in Dallas was massive and I’m just really glad she made it through.”
The Salvation Army has set up a disaster kitchen outside a church in Richardson, handing out meals to anyone who suffered a loss from the storm, as well as delivering food to the area around the church. The North Texas Food Bank is also offering assistance to anyone who needs help.
Anyone who wants to assist with the rebuilding, repairs and care of those who have been affected by the storms can go online to the City of Dallas Emergency Assistance Fund and donate.