Wings Magazine

News
Texas storms ground hundreds of flights

April 4, 2012, Dallas, Tx. - About 500 flights remained grounded Wednesday at one of the busiest U.S. airports after as many as a dozen tornadoes tore through northern Texas, leaving thousands without power and hundreds of homes pummeled.


April 4, 2012
By CBC News

Only a handful of people were hurt, a couple seriously, and no deaths
were reported as of late Tuesday. The Red Cross estimated that 650
homes were damaged.

 

Hundreds of flights into and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International
Airport and Dallas Love Field were cancelled or diverted elsewhere
Tuesday.

 

Advertisment

April is typically the worst month in a tornado season that stretches
from March to June, but the outburst suggests that "we're on pace to be
above normal," said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop.

 

Ten people in Lancaster were injured, two of them severely, said
Lancaster police officer Paul Beck. Three people were injured in
Arlington, Assistant Fire Chief Jim Self said.

 

In one industrial section of Dallas, rows of empty tractor-trailers crumpled like soda cans littered a parking lot.

 

Most of Dallas was spared the full wrath of the storm. In Lancaster,
television helicopters panned over exposed homes without roofs and
flattened buildings.

 

"I guess 'shock' is probably a good word," Lancaster Mayor Marcus Knight said.

Utility Oncor said nearly 14,000 homes and businesses, mainly in the Arlington area, still had no electricity early Wednesday.

Trailers tossed into the air

An
entire wing at the Green Oaks nursing home in Arlington crumbled.
Stunning video from Dallas showed big-rig trailers tossed into the air
and spiraling like footballs. At the Cedar Valley Christian Center
church in Lancaster, Pastor Glenn Young said he cowered in a windowless
room with 30 children from a daycare program, some of them newborns.

 

"It wasn't like a freight train like everybody says it is," said
physical therapist Patti Gilroy, who rounded up dozens to safety at
Green Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. "It sounded like a bomb
hit. And we hit the floor, and everybody was praying. It was shocking."

 

Gilroy said she saw the swirling mass barrelling down through the
back door, after herding patients into the hallway in the order trained:
walkers, wheelchairs, then beds.

 

Gilroy said the blast of wind through Green Oaks lasted about 10
seconds. She described one of her co-workers being nearly "sucked out"
while trying to get a patient out of the room at the moment the facility
was hit.

 

Joy Johnston was also there, visiting her 79-year-old sister.

 

"Of course the windows were flying out, and my sister is paralyzed,
so I had to get someone to help me get her in a wheelchair to get her
out of the room," she said.

 

"The officers were watching the tornadoes form and drop," Kennedale
police Chief Tommy Williams said. "It was pretty active for a while."

 

American Airlines cancelled more than 450 arriving and departing
flights at its DFW airport hub by late Tuesday afternoon, and 37 other
incoming flights had been diverted to different airports.

 

DFW Airport spokesman David Magana said more than 110 planes were
damaged by hail. It wasn't clear how many belonged to American Airlines,
but American and American Eagle had pulled 101 planes out of service
for hail-damage inspections.

 

Meteorologists said the storms were the result of a slow-moving storm system centered over northern New Mexico.