Monday 20 November 2017

Tornadoes leave 11 dead in Dallas

An apartment complex lies in ruin after a tornado struck in Garland, Texas Photo: AP
An apartment complex lies in ruin after a tornado struck in Garland, Texas Photo: AP

Lisa Maria Garza

At least 11 people died and dozens were injured in tornadoes that swept through the Dallas area over the weekend, while five people died in a flash flood in Illinois.

It was the latest in a succession of powerful weather events across the United States - from heavy snow in New Mexico, west Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle - to flash flooding in parts of the Plains and Midwest. Days of tumultuous weather have led to 34 deaths overall - those in Texas and Illinois, plus a total of 18 in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas.

The full extent of damage along a nearly 65km stretch near Dallas isn't yet known, though there were reports of storms and tornadoes blowing the roofs off homes, mangling vehicles, damaging churches, downing power lines and toppling trees.

National Weather Service survey teams headed out yesterday to determine the number and strength of the tornadoes. Meteorologist Matt Bishop says the tornado outbreak at this time of the year for North Texas occurs "from time to time ... but it's certainly not something that happens regularly".

In the town of Rowlett, city manager Brian Funderburk said in some instances, it looked like homes had been "picked up and set back down in a big pile". State troopers were blocking off roads, utility crews were restoring power and people walking around hushed and dazed.

Irish Independent

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