Nine tornadoes confirmed in North Texas

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on May 25, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Updated Thursday, May 26 at 2:03 AM

The National Weather Service now says survey teams have confirmed a total of nine tornadoes in North Texas generated by the powerful storm system that moved through the region on Tuesday night.

  • An EF-1 tornado caused damage along a 1.5-mile path in Irving, causing damage in a 250-yard swath.
     
  • A brief tornado two miles southeast of St. Jo in Montague County was given a preliminary damage rating of EF-0.
     
  • A brief EF-0 tornado was observed four miles northeast of Nocona, near Lake Nocona in Montague County.
     
  • Another EF-0 tornado was observed and photographed two miles southwest of Gainesville in Cooke County.
     
  • In Wise County, spotters reported a tornado three miles north of Rhome. No rating was assigned.
     
  • A damaging tornado was observed west of Argyle in Denton County; the rating will be forthcoming.
     
  • Another tornado was observed and photographed in southern Denton. The damage assessment has not been completed.
     
  • Spotters near Interstates 20 and 45 in southeast Dallas County saw an EF-0 tornado along the Trinity River bottom.
     
  • In Kaufman County, spotters identified an EF-0 tornado near Cedarville.

The weather service said three other areas -- in Azle, Springtown and Avondale -- are still being investigated as possible tornado locations.

Damage near Dallas Love Field that had earlier been attributed to a weak tornado was later determined to have been caused by straight-line winds.

Straight-line winds also pummeled the Oak Lawn section of Dallas, where the evening's only storm-related death was reported. Firefighters believe the victim was electrocuted by downed power lines.

The American Red Cross said more than 100 homes in North Texas sustained damage.

Roofers, volunteers and insurance adjusters swarmed a Denton neighborhood Wednesday in the aftermath of Tuesday's violent storms.

Residents photographed a small "rope" tornado that dropped down on the Country Lakes community near Argyle. It splintered fences, ripped off roofing and siding, and flung debris through windows.

Lots of residents saw a funnel cloud. Army reservist Robert Parker saw it after it had pried the roof from his home.

"When we looked between the houses, the tornado was still sitting about 50 meters behind our house," he said. "We took off back inside!"

Next door, the Jenkins family — three people, two dogs — made a hasty retreat to the bathtub.

The roof came completely off her daughter's room. Their home has structural damage as a result.

"We can't stay here," Julie Jenkins said. "We gotta go."

Ten to 12 homes in Country Lakes sustained moderate damage. Winds drove a fence post through one roof like an arrow.

Debris was scattered across much of the neighborhood, but no one was hurt. While this appeared to be the hardest-hit community, we also saw downed power lines, trees and fences in Bedford, Watauga and North Richland Hills.

"It lasted a couple of minutes and that was long enough," said storm victim Ken Nicholson. "That was long enough for me."

A group of Methodist church members from Argyle joined the cleanup in Country Lakes on Wednesday.

No injuries were reported.

In Irving, we found cars and apartments with shattered windows.

At the Four Seasons Country Club, home of the Byron Nelson Golf Championship starting today, crews had to repair 4,000 divots.

In North Richland Hills, a McDonald's restaurant was stripped of its golden arches, and debris littered nearby roads.

The National Weather Service has now confirmed a total of 38 tornadoes in the 46-county North Texas region since the start of the year.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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