165 MPH Winds

Dallas tornadoes a destructive miracle, with 13 twisters but zero deaths in their wake

Dallas tornadoes a destructive miracle, with 13 twisters but zero deaths in their wake

Dallas-Fort Worth residents are now assessing widespread damages after an estimated 13 tornadoes touched down across the Metroplex.

The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Fort Worth has released a preliminary report that confirms at least three massive twisters — two EF-2 tornadoes in Arlington and Lancaster as well as another in Forney measuring EF-3 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale — in Tuesday's storms.

"You start to get significant structural damage with winds above  86 miles an hour," said meteorologist Joe Harris. "An EF-3 in Forney just east of Dallas means speeds between 136 and 165."

"This was a serious storm," NWS meteorologist Joe Harris told CultureMap Wednesday. "You start to get significant structural damage with winds above 86 miles an hour . . .

"An EF-3 in Forney just east of Dallas means speeds between 136 and 165 (MPH)."

While three tornadoes in a day is rare for most major United States cities, Harris reported that the Dallas metro is no stranger to this level of activity.

"There were four on May 24 of last year and another four on the day Tropical Storm Hermine came through the Metroplex in 2010," he said.

Thousands of travelers spent much of Wednesday morning waiting at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after a seemingly endless stream of delays and cancelations in the wake of the North Texas storms. American Airlines told WFAA-TV in Dallas that more than 400 flights in and out of the airport had been canceled for Wednesday after about 800 flights were canceled Tuesday.

The local NBC station reported that thousands of area residents remain without power and that at least 800 homes were severely damaged by the violent tornadoes. No deaths have been reported as of yet.

"The big headline is that we dodged a big bullet," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told CNN. "We're saddened by the damage the system did, but we've got nobody that's dead and no significant injures.

"It really is a miracle."

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An estimated 13 tornados touched down across the Dallas metrolex Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Taylor Lumsden/Twitter
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At least 800 homes have been seriously damaged according to early surveys. Photo by Jonathan Betz/Twitter
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East of downtown Dallas, a twister in Forney is thought to have had wind speeds about 135 miles per hour. Photo by Will Gordon/Twitter
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Wednesday morning found trucks and other heavy machinery swept across area highways and parking lots. Rancherita del Aire/Twitter