Videos show homes, businesses ripped apart in North Texas after storm swept through state

Wind gusts of over 70 mph were reported in Dallas-Fort Worth area

DALLAS – Tornadoes touched down in Texas and Louisiana as a powerful storm system that dumped heavy snow in California pushed through the Southern Plains and into the Deep South on Thursday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people and forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights into and out of the Dallas area.

Wind gusts of over 70 mph were reported in Texas as tornado watches were issued into Thursday night in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

National Weather Service teams planned to head out Friday to survey areas for likely tornado damage in the storm’s path, which stretched from southeast Oklahoma into Texas and neighboring Arkansas and Louisiana.

“If your phone’s alerted and you hear sirens, that is for wind speeds as strong as a weak tornado,” the weather service tweeted. “So treat it like one! Get inside, away from windows!”

In Hopkins County, the Pickton-Pine Forest Volunteer Fire Department told KLTV that 19 homes were damaged due to a tornado.

No one was reported to be injured. Hopkins County is located east of Dallas.

The Dallas suburb of Richardson asked residents to stop using water after the storm knocked out power to pumping stations.

“Water is currently in city water storage facilities, but will run out if all customers do not immediately cease use of water, except for emergency needs only,” Richardson officials said in a statement.

North of Dallas, winds brought down trees, ripped the roof off a grocery store and overturned four 18-wheelers along U.S. Highway 75. Only minor injuries were reported, police said.

In Little Elm, the storm caused the facade of a shopping center to collapse on top of cars in the parking lot.

As many as six vehicles were buried under the debris, KTVT reported.

“Like I started recording and I started walking around here and we started yelling, is there anybody inside the cars? Is there anybody that needs help? Nobody answered. There was nobody inside the cars, thank God,” Cesar Gonzalez told the station.

A video shared by Betsey Sellinger showed emergency crews responding to the scene.

More than 310,000 utility customers in Texas had no electricity as of Thursday night, according to That was down from 346,000 early in the evening. reported Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field had tallied more than 400 cancellations total, either to or from the airports.

Several school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area canceled after-school activities and events because of the forecast.

Forecasters said the storm system would continue its eastward march Friday, bringing the threat of severe weather into the Ohio and Tennessee River valleys. It was likely to produce snow across the eastern Great Lakes and New England later in the day.

Meteorologists say the same storm produced a “once-in-a-generation” snow in California and Oregon with up to 7 feet (2 meters) accumulating in spots.

The snowfall, however, is credited with helping reduce, and in some areas eliminate, drought conditions in California.

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About the Authors

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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