ARLINGTON, Texas – According to the National Meteorological Service, an EF-2 tornado was responsible for significant damage Tuesday night during storms in Arlington.
Police say some buildings have collapsed and at least three housing estates have been destroyed. The Arlington Fire Department said at least three people were hospitalized with minor injuries as a result of last night’s tornado.
NWS officials were on site on Wednesday to assess the damage and found the tornado was pre-rated EF-2.
The tornado hit near West Mayfield and South Bowman Road, carving a five-mile road with a maximum wind speed of 115 miles per hour, injuring five people, the National Meteorological Service said in a report.
Roof damage occurred at the Waterdance Apartment Complex along Pioneer Parkway on Center Street in east Arlington. Much of the roof got on cars in the parking lot.
“We were inside to make food and all of a sudden it just started to shake really badly and the whole ceiling just flew very badly and we hid and just tried to take it out,” said resident Alan Garcia. “It just happened so fast, I don’t know, it was just crazy.”
Many who have lived in the now-damaged homes are reckoning with their blessings during the already difficult year.
“The whole ceiling, I mean, it just came from the wall, the whole ceiling and the walls in his bedroom also collapsed,” said Wilma Morris, a resident.
Morris said that although the storm lasted the worst minutes, it felt like an eternity.
“I was on the couch, he threw his body at me, the ceiling fan fell, and the whole roof went up,” he said.
At least 75 families were forced to flee their homes and a total of three housing estates were damaged.
While there are dozens of refugees, they are grateful to be alive. At the time of the pandemic, people still have to say a lot of thanks.
After Tuesday night’s EF-2 tornado, dozens of families in Arlington know this by hand.
“I’m grateful we’re fine, but it’s sad, sad that some people spend Thanksgiving away from home,” resident Dody Fee said.
“We slept and it was just like a nightmare, alas,” Tamanna Orni recalled.
The families returned to their apartment Wednesday morning, hoping to find some things that had not been destroyed.
“We stuck as much as we could … memories … we try,” Orni said.
Officials went from house to house, making sure no one was in one of the buildings before the fences were laid.
Morris had just finished most of the Thanksgiving food on Tuesday night, but said these things could be made up.
– We have nothing. Personally, I have no clothes at all. But you know what, this stuff, I was glad the kids got me my husband’s ashes. What can I say, we’re here for Thanksgiving, ”he said.
Her granddaughter is grateful for this Thanksgiving that she can still spend it with her loved ones.
“Thanksgiving will have a different meaning, I’m glad you’ll be there because I can’t do turkey, so you get help,” Kayla Morris said.
The car park in the adjacent complex descended on some vehicles.
There are some damaged houses as well as a church, fast food restaurants and other nearby businesses.
Instead of closing Thanksgiving with their loved ones, businesses on South Cooper Street near Pioneer Parkway in Arlington cleaned up the damage caused by the tornado.
Alfredo Garnica is now trying to save what he can from his now decimated cabinet shop.
His building supplies have all been destroyed, and a big project he should have started this week is now waiting for him.
“Now I have to start all over again and find somewhere to go and do my thing,” he said. – Pretty much this whole place is gutted.
The awning of the Burger Box restaurant south of Arkansas Lane collapsed into S. Cooperre with an SUV and a van.
Rosa Mohammed and her family suffered a disaster in their SUV. The overhang of the folded lane of the Burger Box collapsed.
“He was just handing over our food when it started to rain and suddenly, I mean, he was just hit,” he recalled. “I mean, the wind was so fast that things on the light line exploded and the whole roof fell on top of our car. It was something and an experience that I was still trying to pull out of my head.
Mohammed was in the front passenger seat. Her husband was driving and her 8-year-old daughter was in the back seat.
“I tried to calm him down, but it didn’t do him any good.” I felt useless, ”he said. “It fell right in front of us. If we had probably pulled out a little more, it would have gotten right on top of the car. We probably wouldn’t be here now.
Anthony Fuller stood behind them. He said his truck was apparently protecting part of the collision.
“My truck was like holding it up. I feel if I didn’t have my truck there, it would probably have smashed them. My F150 sits so high that it tilted me a bit, he said. “I was just grateful. It was an awesome experience.
Across the street, the Safelite Auto glass shop also suffered significant damage.
The pressure of the storm seems to have gathered the garage doors that open to their repair site. The shop sign was still lit when the sun came up and they saw employees coming and going to start cleaning.
SKY4 footage showed the tornado tearing about half of the Safelite roof.
Around the corner, the Arlington ISD service center damaged its roof, along with its ventilation system, fences, service vehicles and the area’s radio tower.
“We’re actually out of school this week because of student and employee leave, and that’s why we really believe we’ll provide everything before we go back to school on Monday,” said Anita Foster, a district spokeswoman.
Foster said the district engineers spent the day looking for further damage at the universities.
But students who live in the nearby Mirage and Waterdance Apartment complexes and who are now leaving their homes without shelter, food and clothing are more concerned.
“We really want to do everything we can to make sure our Arlington ISD students get the help they need,” he said.
Oncor and Atmos staff were also in the area to work on broken power lines and report natural gas leaks.