A tornado ripped through north Dallas Sunday night, leaving massive wreckage, tens of thousands of people out of power, and first responders going door to door to check on residents. Multiple videos have since emerged capturing the harrowing moment as the tornado tore through the city.
“The City of Dallas is currently assessing the damages as a result of a storm with a radar-confirmed tornado that came through the Dallas area at approximately 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 20,” the City of Dallas said in a storm update posted just after midnight, just hours after the hurricane first touched down. “At this time, there are no reports of fatalities or serious injuries.”
“The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue are assessing damaged structures and will continue to do so throughout the night,” the release continued. “Currently, there are approximately 35 traffic signals with no communication and crews are responding for repairs.”
The release also cited reported gas leaks and encouraged residents to “leave the area immediately and from a safe distance” if they smell or suspect a natural gas leak.
“According to Oncor, there are approximately 65,000 customers in Dallas experiencing a service interruption due to this storm,” the city said.
In response to the destruction and the power outage, the city opened up a shelter at the Bachman Recreation Center for residents and activated Dallas’s Emergency Operating Center to monitor the situation and provide further updates to residents.
The Dallas Morning News reported Monday that first responders had been going “door to door in some neighborhoods to check on residents,” while “police and fire crews began assessing damaged structures through the night.”
The areas of the city hit particularly hard, the outlet reports, are parts of northern Dallas, including the Love Field area.
Flights out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport were delayed until after 12:30 a.m. and that multiple schools in the district were closed Monday.
Early estimates say the tornado created wind speed easily topping 100 mph, Dallas Morning News notes.
Below is footage taken by Phillip Ellis and reposted by meteorologist Dakota Smith of the National Center for Atmospheric Research showing the tornado stretching down toward the city as lightning lights up the sky:
Whoa… Insane view of Dallas tornado, that moved through moments ago. pic.twitter.com/Uzmzy2JGBA
— Dakota Smith (@weatherdak) October 21, 2019
As noted by the New York Post, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) reposted footage showing the “horrific tornado in Dallas.”
“We are sending prayers,” wrote Abbott, adding: “We are also sending the Texas Division of Emergency Management to provide assistance. … Stay safe Texans.”
Abbott’s tweet followed by original post below:
We are sending prayers.
We are also sending the Texas Division of Emergency Management to provide assistance. @TDEM
Stay safe Texans. https://t.co/EYjFb3tsm6
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 21, 2019
— Rose (@rosedixontx) October 21, 2019
Weather reporter Jesus Jimenez also posted a photo of a Home Depot in the area that “took a direct hit”:
The Home Depot at Forest and 75 took a direct hit. pic.twitter.com/mUS7Rs4egQ
— Jesus Jimenez 🌩 (@jesus_jimz) October 21, 2019
Below is the full text of the storm update issued by the City of Dallas early Monday:
The City of Dallas is currently assessing the damages as a result of a storm with a radar-confirmed tornado that came through the Dallas area at approximately 9.p.m. on Sunday, October 20. At this time, there are no reports of fatalities or serious injuries.
The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Fire-Rescue are assessing damaged structures and will continue to do so throughout the night.
Currently, there are approximately 35 traffic signals with no communication and crews are responding for repairs. Residents should call 3-1-1 to report downed traffic lights.
Residents are encouraged to stay indoors if they are in an area with storm damage due to downed trees, power lines and debris.
There are reports of gas leaks north of Walnut Hill. If residents smell natural gas or suspect a natural gas leak, leave the area immediately and from a safe distance, call 9-1-1 and the Atmos Energy 24/7 emergency line at 866-322-8667.
According to Oncor, there are approximately 65,000 customers in Dallas experiencing a service interruption due to this storm. The City is preparing to open Bachman Recreation Center at 2 a.m. for people seeking shelter.
The City has activated its Emergency Operating Center and will continue to monitor the second round of storms that will come through the area early Monday morning. An update will be provided as additional information becomes available.