DALLAS (AP) — Crews searched Monday through the rubble of homes and businesses torn apart by a tornado that ripped through the Dallas area the night before, and one person was killed by a falling tree in Arkansas as the storms moved to the northeast.
Radar confirmed the tornado struck near Love Field Airport and moved northeast through the city around 9 p.m. Sunday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Godwin. There were no reports of fatalities or serious injuries in Texas early Monday, but Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says three people were hospitalized for evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries. Tens of thousands of people were without electricity.
One person died in northwest Arkansas when a tree fell on a home in Rogers, about 150 miles northwest of Little Rock, according to the Benton County Department of Public Safety. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said “significant storm damage” occurred in northwest Arkansas.
The storms also caused damage in Oklahoma and Missouri.
Tornado warnings were in effect Monday morning in far eastern Arkansas near the Mississippi River as the storm system moved to the east. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee could see severe thunderstorms later Monday.
In Texas, heavy damage was reported in northwest Dallas and Richardson. Nearly 140,000 electric customers were without power as of 4 a.m. Monday, according to Oncor’s online outage map. The electric utility said storms across East Texas had caused significant damage to power lines.
Around 65,000 of the affected electric customers were within Dallas, according to the city, which said it would open a shelter.
Crews searched through homes and businesses that were accessible for about six hours overnight, but were hampered by “limited access and lack of proper lighting,” Evans said. A second set of teams were to resume search efforts in daylight.
Seven people escaped a structure that collapsed in northwest Dallas, but Dallas Fire-Rescue were searching to see if anyone was left inside, Evans said. WFAA-TV reported that a convenience store collapsed in the storm, but the clerk told the station that everyone who was inside made it out safely.
Evans said that the department had also received multiple calls from people injured in their homes by broken glass.
Godwin, the meteorologist, said the size and severity of the tornado won’t be known until crews arrive to survey the damage. NWS warning coordination meteorologist Jennifer Dunn told the AP there may have been two or more tornadoes in north Texas, but reiterated that the extent wouldn’t be known until later Monday afternoon.