North Texas Tornadoes Leave 11 Dead, Cause "Devastating" Damage

PHOTO: AP/LM Otero
At least three tornados touched down in North Texas on Saturday evening, leaving at least 11 people dead, including an infant.

According to The Dallas Morning News, a tornado that touched down in Garland, TX, was deemed a category EF4 (the highest being EF5), with winds up to 200 mph. It was only the second EF4 to ever be reported in the area, with the first reported in 1927.

As of Sunday morning, eight people in Garland were reported killed in tornado-related traffic accidents near Interstate 30 and Bush Turnpike, where at least a dozen cars crashed after the tornado touched down on Saturday around 6:45 p.m.

About 600 buildings, including businesses and homes, were damaged, with many being completely destroyed. "It is total devastation," Garland police spokesman Lt. Pedro Barineau said.

Another tornado that touched down in Rowlett, TX, was an EF3 that left at least one dead. It's been reported that at the height of the storm, 50,000 homes were without power in North Texas. That number is now at 8,000, most of which are located in Rowlett.

The video below from the Associated Press shows the homes that have been damaged in that area, one of the hardest hit.
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The Dallas Morning News
reported that Glenn Heights, TX, had declared a state of emergency after many were left without power. Emergency teams worked overnight to clear debris and fix gas and power lines the area. At least 100 homes were damaged, but no fatalities have been reported.

The tornados moved north, hitting Ellis, Collin, and Dallas counties, damaging as many as 75 homes. Another 75 homes are being reported as "heavily damaged or completely destroyed." More will likely be reported as the day continues.

The National Weather Service has issued flash flood watches and warnings into Monday morning throughout the North Texas area. They are predicting another two to four inches of rainfall, with a chance of a snowy mix and high winds.

Dallas city officials continue to reiterate the message “turn around, don’t drown," while Judge Clay Jenkins of Dallas County tweeted a message to those in the area late Saturday night asking them to keep safe.

"I am signing a Local Disaster Declaration due to widespread weather damage," he wrote. "Please help our response by staying home and off roads/scenes."

Currently, meteorologists are still trying to confirm how many tornadoes touched down in North Texas, while rescue workers continue to take stock of the widespread damage.

“Tonight was obviously a destructive night and a deadly night,” American Red Cross spokeswoman Anita Foster said. “When we lose people in disasters, it really does bring home the gravity of what nature can do in a community.”




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