Showing posts with label Dallas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dallas. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Tornadoes rip through Dallas-Fort Worth area

Semi-tractor trailers lay in debris left by a tornado at southern area of Dallas
(Reuters) - At least two tornadoes tore through the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in Texas on Tuesday, ripping apart buildings, tossing tractor trailer trucks into the air and grounding planes in the region.

There were no reports of deaths or serious injuries, according to police, although the storm was still active.

One tornado tossed around trucks like toys in the Flying J Truck Plaza in Dallas, said truck driver Michael Glennon, who caught the destruction on his video camera as debris swirled through the air.

"The second trailer is ripped to pieces and thrown 50 to 100 feet into the air," he told Reuters.

National Weather Service meteorologist Amber Elliott confirmed that two separate tornadoes had touched down, one in Arlington, Texas and another in Dallas. Nine separate tornado warnings have been issued by the weather service for the Dallas area so far on Tuesday, she said.

Hail ranging from pea-sized to as large as baseballs pounded Dallas and Fort Worth, the nation's fourth-most-populous metropolitan area with 6.3 million people.

"A house completely demolished. Gas leak in the area," said one comment broadcast on the suburban Arlington, Texas, police scanner, passed along by weather forecaster AccuWeather.

"Motor home blown sideways blocking the street. There is a person stuck inside," another scanner broadcast said.

During the storm all planes were grounded at Dallas-Fort Worth International airport, the eighth busiest in the world, because of reports of storms and tornadoes, American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said. The airport had reopened by late afternoon.

American canceled all 230 departures from its hub there on Tuesday, and a like number of inbound flights.

Dallas-Fort Worth airport spokesman David Magana said officials ordered passengers away from windows and directed them into stairwells and restrooms.

More than 110 aircraft sustained damage from hail, 400 departures were canceled and 40 incoming flights were diverted, the airport said in a statement.


Amethyst Cirmo, a spokeswoman for the city of Kennedale, west of Arlington, Texas said there was at least moderate damage to 40-50 homes there and some businesses were damaged as well. She said a tornado hit the city of 7,000 people, some power lines were down and a water main had broken, but was repaired.

"We have had some pretty severe damage, but we're doing OK," she said.

WFAA television in Dallas aired footage showing residents in one hard-hit neighborhood frantically directing a policeman, who appeared to be searching for people trapped by the storm.

The surrounding streets were littered with fallen trees and other storm-generated debris.

Video of a parking lot of a trucking company showed large trucks piled on top of one another, and some had their roofs ripped off.

Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez told CNN that there had been no serious injuries so far, but officers had not investigated all of the damaged neighborhoods. Officers also had been dispatched to damaged areas to prevent looting, she said.

The U.S. tornado season has started early this year. Tornadoes have been blamed for 57 deaths so far in 2012 in the Midwest and South, raising concerns that this year would be a repeat of 2011, the deadliest year in nearly a century for the unpredictable storms.

In 2011, there were 550 tornado deaths with 316 lives lost on April 27 in five southern states, and a massive tornado that killed 161 people in Joplin, Missouri on May 22.

Tuesday's tornadoes in Texas could prove more costly than a hailstorm nearly a year ago in the Dallas area that caused more than $100 million in insured losses. That April 15, 2011, storm was less damaging in terms of hail and winds.

Insurers have already lost as much as $2 billion during the 2012 tornado season, mostly from a record March 2 outbreak. That follows record-breaking losses of $26 billion during the 2011 tornado season.

News by Reuters

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Birmingham, Alabama Storm 2012: Searchers Work To Rescue Trapped People

storm in Birmingham, Alabama
Storm in Birmingham, Alabama
CLAY, Ala. (AP) — Two people were killed in the Birmingham, Ala., area as storms pounded the South and Midwest, prompting tornado warnings in a handful of states early Monday.

At least one of the areas affected by the storms, which were part of a system that stretched from the Great Lakes down to the Gulf of Mexico, was also hit by a line of killer storms that slammed the Southeast last April.

Jefferson County sheriff's spokesman Randy Christian said a 16-year-old boy was killed in Clay and an 82-year-old man died in the community of Oak Grove.

Storm in Birmingham, Alabama

The storm produced a possible tornado that moved across northern Jefferson County around 3:30 a.m., causing damage in Oak Grove, Graysville, Fultondale, Center Point, Clay and Trussville, Christian said. He said several homes were destroyed and numerous injuries were reported.

"Some roads are impassable, there are a number of county roads where you have either debris down, trees down, damage from homes," said Yasamie Richardson, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. Jefferson County experienced "significant damage," she said.

Oak Grove was also hit during last April's tornadoes, but none of homes hit in April were hit again this time, said Allen Kniphfer of Jefferson County's Emergency Management Agency.

As day broke, rescue crews used chainsaws to clear fallen trees off roads in Clay, northeast of Birmingham. Searchers went door-to-door calling out to residents, many of whom were trapped by trees that crisscrossed their driveways.

Stevie Sanders woke up around 3:30 a.m. and realized bad weather was on the way. She, her parents and sister hid in the laundry room of their brick home as the wind howled and trees started cracking outside.

"You could feel the walls shaking and you could hear a loud crash. After that it got quiet, and the tree had fallen through my sister's roof," said Sanders, 26.

The family was OK, and her father, Greg Sanders, spent the next hours raking his roof and pulling away pieces of broken lumber.

"It could have been so much worse," he said. "It's like they say, we were just blessed."

In Clanton, about 50 miles south of Birmingham, rescuers were responding to reports of a trailer turned over with people trapped, City Clerk Debbie Orange said.

Also south of Birmingham, Maplesville town clerk Sheila Haigler said high winds damaged many buildings and knocked down several trees. One tree fell on a storm shelter, but no one was injured, Haigler said. One person was trapped in a heavily damaged home, but was rescued safely. Haigler said police had not been able to search some areas because trees and power lines were blocking roads.

In Arkansas, there were possible tornadoes in Arkansas, Dallas, Lonoke, Prairie and Cleveland counties Sunday night. The storms also brought hail and strong winds as they moved through parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and Mississippi.

Tornado warnings were issued for parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

The storm also caused officials to reschedule a planned Monday meeting in Montgomery to receive a study on Alabama's response to a system of storms that raked the state last April. That storm killed more than 240 people in the state. Among the hardest hit areas then was Tuscaloosa, where 50 were killed.

Rescue workers help a family out of their neighborhood after a severe storm ripped through the Trussville, Ala. area early Monday, Jan. 23, 2012. Tornado warnings were issued in parts of central and northern Alabama in the early morning hours Monday as powerful storms rolled across the state. There were several reports of severe damage to homes.

News by Huffingtonpost

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

48 hours in Dallas/Fort Worth

Dallas-Fort Worth
Dallas-Fort Worth
(Reuters) - Got 48 hours to spend in Dallas-Fort Worth? There is plenty to see and do in this metropolitan area featuring two cities with distinctly different vibes.

Rich in Texas heritage, the DFW area is the place to sample the full gamut of distinctively Texas cuisine, from chicken-fried steak, barbecue and Tex-Mex to high-end fusions like lobster or sea bass tacos.

When it comes to entertainment, there is plenty to appeal to either urban sophisticates or wannabe cowboys. The possibilities range from pro sports to cultural arts to world-class shopping to the world's largest honky tonk.

Reuter correspondent with local knowledge help visitor make the most out of short visit.


4 p.m. - Rent a car at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and make the trip to downtown Dallas.

5:30 p.m. - Have a cocktail and early dinner at Nosh, celebrated chef Avner Samuel's restaurant and bar, noted for European and Mediterranean food such as crispy duck confit or pan-roasted Alaskan halibut served with Spanish chorizo, spicy peppers and black olives.

7:30 p.m. - Love sports? Dallas has you covered. Head to the American Airlines Center ( to watch the world-champion Dallas Mavericks on the basketball court. If the Mavs are away, watch the Dallas Stars hockey team on the ice.

If sports aren't your thing, the nearby arts district has many cultural offerings. The AT&T Performing Arts Center ( has multiple venues, including the sleek new Winspear Opera House, so there is almost always a concert, play or dance performance to see. Or, cross the street to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center to see the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in concert.

11 p.m. - Take the elevator to the 33rd floor of the W Hotel in Victory Park, across the street from the American Airlines Center, for a night cap and the best view of Dallas.


9 a.m. - Dream Café in the trendy Uptown area north of downtown is a Dallas institution known for its eclectic mix of down-home and Tex-Mex breakfast selections. There are also lots of meatless options, including vegetarian sausage.

10 a.m. - The Sixth Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza( pay tribute to Dallas' most tragic event: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Examine the life and legacy of JFK at the museum and spot where the presidential motorcade passed when the shooting occurred at Dealey Plaza.

Noon - Head back to the arts district and tour the Nasher Sculpture Center (, an architectural gem in the downtown arts district. The center houses the extensive collection of Dallas developer Raymond Nasher and his wife, Patsy. Works by artists such as Matisse, Calder and Rodin are displayed in indoor galleries and the outdoor garden.

1 p.m. - Drive a few miles north to Rafa's, an authentic Tex-Mex eatery with lots of lunch specials featuring tacos, enchiladas and fajitas. This popular local spot draws the occasional celebrity, including former President George W. Bush, a Dallas resident.

3 p.m. - Dallas is known for shopping and there is no shortage of places to explore across the city, from funky vintage shops to high-end boutiques. Highland Park Village ( boasts stores of premiere designers such as Stella McCartney, Hermes and Dallas native Lela Rose. Be sure to stop by the flagship Neiman-Marcus store downtown at least to grab a signature chocolate-chip cookie.

8 p.m. - Get dressed up and splurge on dinner at the Mansion Restaurant in the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek ( in Oak Lawn, north of downtown. Chef Bruno Davaillon's creations such as seared snapper and rack of lamb, have kept this Dallas institution at the top of fine dining lists for more than 30 years.

11 p.m. - On the east end of downtown is Deep Ellum, Dallas' hippest nightlife area, with dozens of clubs for listening to music and dancing. Local favorites include the Lizard Lounge and House of Blues. Or, check out PM Nightlife in the downtown Joule hotel. This artistic, underground club is the place for celebrity sightings.


10 a.m. - Check out of the hotel, load the car and head over to the Dallas Farmers Market ( for a light breakfast of fresh-picked fruit or a homemade pastry from one of the many stalls.

11 a.m. - Head west on Interstate 30 for a 30-minute ride to downtown Fort Worth. About halfway there, you can catch of glimpse of the new Cowboys Stadium and nearby Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Noon - Lunch at Reata Restaurant in downtown Fort Worth's Sundance Square ( This is a true Cowtown experience, featuring tenderloin tamales, chicken-fried steak and pan-seared, pepper-crusted tenderloin.

2 p.m. - If you visit in late January or early February, hit the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo ( and catch a rodeo matinee in the Will Rogers Memorial Center. Check out the exhibit halls to pick up a cowboy hat, a pair of boots or a western belt buckle.

If you can't make the stock show, head to the Fort Worth Stockyards for a taste of the Old West. Catch a rodeo at the Cowtown Coliseum or learn about Fort Worth's storied history at the Stockyards Museum. Try on a pair of handmade boots at M.L. Leddy's or head to Billy Bob's, the world's largest honky-tonk, for a longneck, a little two-stepping and some live professional bull-riding action.

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