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Dramatic Storms Strike Dallas-Fort Worth Area


It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

A flight departure board at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport yesterday told the story. One word was repeated again and again: cancelled, cancelled, cancelled.

INSKEEP: That was just one sign of chaos, as up to a dozen tornadoes spun through the area. Amazingly, nobody was reported killed.

MONTAGNE: But the storms damaged over 600 homes. Hundreds of thousands of children spent the afternoon huddled in hallways...

INSKEEP: ...in schools. And if you have relations in Texas, maybe you had an experience like this: My brother called home to family and friends, and one of them answered his phone from the bathtub.

MONTAGNE: As a new day arrives, flights are still scrambled from Dallas. NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: The storm's intensity caught some forecasters by surprise. Shortly after noon, tornadoes began dropping from the sky. The most spectacularly moment was caught by WFAA's HD helicopter.

The onboard reporter and meteorologist watched as a tornado ripped through what was soon to be the aptly named Flying J Truck Plaza. Fifteen-thousand pound tractor trailer trucks were sucked up into the funnel and ripped to pieces in front of everyone's eyes. It was quite the performance.


GOODWYN: Passengers on a couple of dozen planes out on the taxiways at DFW got a scare. The storm passed right over them, pelting the planes with damaging hail, but luckily, no tornado dropped down to propel any of the exposed planes into unscheduled flights.

That was the end of flying at both DFW and Dallas Love for several hours. One hundred mostly American Airlines planes were damaged by hail, and must be inspected carefully before they can fly again.

Thousands spent the night in hotels around the airport. David Magana is a spokesman for DFW.

DAVID MAGANA: We were pulling in passengers away from the glass and getting them into shelter areas 30 minutes before we saw the real heavy part of the cell coming over the airport.

GOODWYN: The suburb of Lancaster took it on the chin. This unidentified man walked out of his badly damaged home, missing much of its roof, and found a local TV reporter.


GOODWYN: Injuries however were minor. Things get back to normal today, except at DFW, where it's expected to be another difficult day of many flying, but many others not flying.

Wade Goodwyn, NPR News, Dallas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Guy Raz is the host, co-creator, and editorial director of three NPR programs, including two of its most popular ones: TED Radio Hour and How I Built This. Both shows are heard by more than 14 million people each month around the world. He is also the creator and co-host of NPR's first-ever podcast for kids, Wow In The World.
Wade Goodwyn is an NPR National Desk Correspondent covering Texas and the surrounding states.

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