This story is being updated daily.
Update: The National Weather Service in Fort Worth reported a total of nine tornadoes hit the Metroplex. The North Dallas tornado was classified as an EF-3 tornado.
2:48 PM – An NWS survey team has determined that the estimated maximum winds for the tornado in North Dallas is 140 mph, consistent with an EF-3 rating. We will share more information later this afternoon/evening with additional details. #dfwwx #txwx pic.twitter.com/raQOxD2f9A
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) October 21, 2019
As I write this from an undamaged, intact Preston Royal-area home, sirens are still going off around me, more than half my neighbors have no power, and the Preston Royal Shopping Center a half-mile away is nearly destroyed.
Monday morning sunlight will shine light on a lot of serious damage and destruction in North Dallas. So far, most thankfully, no reports of deaths or injuries from a tornado that struck Dallas around 9:15 p.m. Sunday evening, after a beautiful, clear fall day.
The storm whipped up suddenly. Here in North Dallas, tornadic winds did lots of damage to structures, autos, and foliage, much of it now choking off streets and main arteries. Days after the storm, streets are still inaccessible as residents struggle to get in or out of their neighborhoods and approximately 300 people are still without power Wednesday, down from 10,000 on Monday, according to Oncor.
The National Weather Service confirmed nine tornadoes: Rowlett, Rockwell, Garland, Ferris, Midloathian, and Kaufman County. The North Dallas tornado was the strongest classified at EF-3. The storm apparently hit near or just north of Love Field — most incoming planes were re-routed to Lubbock — and skipped along Walnut Hill Lane towards Central Expressway/75, where it wreaked total havoc at the High Five (intersection of 75 and LBJ/635) then almost completely wiped out the Home Depot at 75 and Forest Lane. The tornado continued through northeast Dallas to Richland College, Richardson, and parts of Garland.
The charming red brick Preston Hollow fire station, #41, was heavily damaged by the storm as were surrounding retail stores.
Schools Damaged and Closed
Many schools sustained damage and were closed Monday and Tuesday, both public and private. St. Mark’s School of Texas suffered major damage to the gym and the clock tower. Episcopal School of Dallas was damaged as well. Ursuline was still closed Tuesday for lack of power and are posting assignments online and communicating with students so they can continue their coursework.
All Richardson ISD and Midlothian ISD schools were closed Monday and some schools on Tuesday. Some Garland ISD schools were closed as well.
Walnut Hill School, ESD, TJ, and Pershing all sustained significant damage. The beautiful tile roof at Walnut Hill School was ripped, and a fire was reported inside. Pershing students have lost an entire building.
Several Dallas ISD schools were closed, including Caillet ES, Cigarroa ES, Dealey Montessori, Foster ES, Hexter ES, Kramer ES, Joe May ES, David E. Burnet ES, Twain ES, Walnut Hill ES, Pershing ES, Cary MS, Francisco Medrano MS, Franklin MS, Thomas Jefferson HS, Hillcrest HS, Roosevelt HS, and South Oak Cliff at Village Fair.
There are multiple road closures around North Dallas, including:
Updated street closures as of 12 pm Tuesday:
North Central Section of the City:
Tibbs Street/Pemberton Drive
Edgemere Road/Pemberton Drive
Orchid Lane/Burgundy Road
Burgundy Road/Tulip Lane
Royal Lane/Burgundy Road
Thackery Street /Pemberton Drive
Preston Road/St Marks Circle
Hillcrest Road/Walnut Hill Lane
Preston Road/Royal Lane
Royal Lane/Camilla Street
Edgemere Road/Northport Drive
Northwest Section of the City:
Marsh Lane/Walnut Hill Lane
Harry Hines Boulevard/Manana Drive
Denton Drive/Lombardy Lane
Walnut Hill Lane/Monroe Drive
Harry Hines Boulevard/Walnut Hill Lane
Walnut Hill Lane/Webb Chapel Road
Walnut Hill Lane/Midway Road
Shady Trail/Andjon Drive
Walnut Hill Lane/Marsh Lane
Shady Trail/Southwell Road
Shady Trail/Manana Drive
Walnut Hill Lane/Shady Trail
Harry Hines Boulevard/Brenner Drive
Harry Hines Boulevard/Lombardy Lane
Harry Hines Boulevard/Myrtle Springs
Brockbank/Walnut Hill Lane
Webb Chapel/Park Lane
10100 Marsh Lane
3700 Walnut Hill
DFR Command Post
Royal Lane DFR Station
Program /Composite Drive
Strait/Walnut Hill Lane
There were as many as 100 signal lights without power, 85 signals on flash and multiple signal lights knocked down as of Monday. Per the city of Dallas, “City crews have been surveying the damage since shortly after the storm.”
Beginning next week, brush and bulk collections in the city of Dallas will be suspended citywide for four weeks in order to dedicate all resources to the storm clean-up, officials said Wednesday.
Local Businesses Destroyed
In the Preston Royal Shopping Center, Fish City and Interabang Books were severely damaged and nearby Princi Italia sustained damage. Central Market is closed until further notice. The Dallas-based SampleHouse & CandleShop at Preston and Royal, a family business owned by the Poole family, was completely destroyed.
Eatzi’s at Preston and Royal, Celebrity Cafe & Bakery, Spec’s Beer and Wine on Royal, and most nearby retail shops are closed for lack of power.
Notable Homes and Neighborhoods Affected
Many large Preston Hollow homes have been damaged. Even former President Bush and his wife Laura rode out the storm and tweeted their safety. Their spokesman told CBS11, ““They got lucky and are praying for the safety of their neighbors around DFW.”
Since real estate offices often hold meetings on Monday mornings, many were cancelled and instead went into crisis mode to help affected clients find temporary housing in staged homes. They’re also debating whether to pull their storm-damaged homes from MLS.
Here in Preston Royal, we got into our storm closet, which I am ever so grateful to have, about 9 p.m. and we did so fairly quickly. We heard the “train roar” but did not poke heads out to confront it.
That Sunday night, I was already hearing that homes and streets in Preston Hollow around St. Marks are a mess with large oaks toppling multi-million dollar homes, JanMar homes sustained a lot of damage, as did Midway Hollow.
I’m estimating damage easily in the tens of millions of dollars or more. Update: after hearing how many Strait Lane area estates have been damaged, I believe we may hit one hundred million. We could get disaster relief. And families will be looking for homes to lease as theirs are repaired. This storm will also suck a lot of contractors away, it will be impossible to find them: get ready for delays in any projects you currently have.
- If you have any storm damage in the DFW area and smell or suspect a natural gas leak, call Atmos emergency number at 866-322-8667.
- Check estimated time that power will be restored on the Oncor Outage Map.
- Click on the Check Outage Status button to check your address specifically. Enter your home phone number and your zip code.
- Dallas Builders Association has established a dedicated website for storm recovery information at DallasBuilders.com/AfterTheStorm.
- City of Dallas site for storm-related street closures.
- CandysDirt.com tips for creating a family disaster plan.
Originally published 3 a.m. Monday.
Last updated 2 p.m. Wednedsay to add resource links
Additional reporting by Shelby Skrhak.