No tornado warnings were issued in Dallas-Fort Worth, but many North Texans were awakened by storm sirens as a strong line of thunderstorms moved through Dallas-Fort Worth early Wednesday.
Grand Prairie, among several cities that activated sirens, set off the warnings to alert residents about high winds. The city also can activate the sirens in other weather emergencies, including when large hail is falling, but no hail was reported Wednesday morning.
As the storm moved through the area, it produced gusts of up to 109 mph in Grand Prairie, 78 mph at DFW International Airport, 71 mph in Addison and 58 in McKinney, according to the National Weather Service.
The wind gusts recorded at DFW Airport were the highest measured by the weather services observation system since it was installed at the airport in 1995, according to meteorologist Monique Sellers.
Tree removal professional Greg Dobbs, 49, said North Oak Cliff was among the most heavily affected areas in Dallas. His company, Oak Cliff-based J.D.s Tree Service, received about 40 calls related to the storm between 6 a.m. and early afternoon Wednesday.
I think a straight-line wind came through and tore down a lot of signs and massive trees, he said. We lost a lot of old-growth trees today, which is really sad.
John Gimber, 31, was one of Dobbs clients. A neighbors gargantuan 80-year-old oak fell onto Gimbers home before dawn Wednesday, leaving him with holes in his roof and a destroyed fence.
Dobbs men took the tree down Wednesday afternoon. The tree had fallen on the back corner of Gimbers home, just above his bed. Gimber said he and his wife thought the house had been struck by lightning when the tree fell about 4:30 a.m.
The whole house shook, then water started dripping into the bedroom from the roof, Gimber said. I went into the attic and saw the tree poking through the roof. It saved our lives that it didnt fall through.
Grand Prairies 109-mph wind speed was recorded at the city airports air traffic control tower, city spokeswoman Cami McKillop said.
Oncor reported at least 125,000 outages during the storm, and the weather service also received reports of downed power lines and poles.
About 67 planes were damaged along with 13 buildings at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, McKillop said. No injuries were reported.
Also in Grand Prairie, southbound lanes of the Bush Turnpike near Mayfield Road were closed after high winds knocked over an 18-wheeler.
Watch for updates, especially Thursday morning when we get a feel for how many rain showers are around.
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At DFW Airport, where gusts were recorded up to 78 mph, jet bridges at terminals B and D were damaged, spokeswoman Cynthia Vega said. Flight delays and cancellations were possible as a result.
“Were urging everyone — regardless of the terminal — to check flight statuses before coming out to the airport,” Vega said.
Though no tornado warning had been issued for Dallas-Fort Worth, the winds were powerful enough to flip and damage many planes at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, Dallas News reported.
Damage also had been reported at some of the airports parking lots, but she said garages had not been damaged.
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Between DFW and Love Field airports, more than 100 flights had been delayed throughout the day and at least 12 were canceled, according to FlightAware.
We are assessing the damage from this morning's severe weather and working quickly to make repairs. Please check with your airline for information on flight delays or cancellations.
Video captured by Marcus Hawthorne showed sheets of metal and debris slamming into vehicles parked outside the building.
Local resident Elsa Panther, who lives near the Grand Prairie air hub, told NBC DFW that she was terrified as the winds ripped off the chimney of her home.
“I was sitting in my truck trying to record the heavy rain in the wind, when all of a sudden came a loud crashing noise of the roofing hitting the ground,” Hawthorne told KXAS-TV (NBC5).
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In Carrollton, police announced two storm-related road problems. The 1600 block of Valwood Parkway was down to one lane because a tree fell in the roadway, and eastbound Keller Springs Road between Josey Lane and Carmel Drive also was reduced to one lane because of fallen power lines.
There were no reports of tornadoes early Wednesday, but storms produced wind speeds equivalent to an EF-0 tornado, which the weather service identifies by wind gusts between 65 and 85 mph, and an EF-1 tornado, characterized by winds up to 110 mph.
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The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth decided not to survey areas impacted by Wednesdays storms for tornado damage. The office determined damage from the storms was caused by straight-line winds, not tornadoes, according to Sellers.
By 5:30 a.m., the front line of the storm, which produced the strongest winds, had moved through most of Dallas-Fort Worth.
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