Texas tornadoes, violent storms leave path of destruction
Most of Dallas was spared the full wrath of the storm.
Yet in Lancaster, television helicopters panned over exposed homes without roofs and flattened buildings.
Broken sheets of plywood blanketed lawns and covered rooftops. A pastor at one Lancaster church saw debris swirling in the wind, then herded more than 30 children, some as young as newborns, into a windowless room to ride out the storm.
Nearby at the church's school, about 60 more children hid in another windowless room near the women's bathroom.
An entire wall of Cedar Valley Christian Academy wound up being taken out in the storm. Pastor Glenn Young said he didn't know when the school might re-open.
"I'm a little concerned," Young said. "This is our livelihood." Residents could be seen walking down the street with firefighters and peering into homes, looking at the damage after the storm passed.
Devlin Norwood said he was at his Lancaster home when he heard the storm sirens. He said he made a quick trip to a nearby store when he saw the funnel-shaped tornado lower, kick up debris and head toward his neighborhood.
"I didn't see any damage until I got back home. We had trees destroyed, fences down, boards down, boards penetrating the roof and the house, shingles damaged," said Norwood, 50, an accountant and graduate student.
The storm pushed cars into fences and toppled trees. Branches and limbs scattered across lawns and residential streets, and in one driveway, a tow-behind RV was left torn apart and crumpled.
"Obviously we're going to have a lot of assessments to make when this is done," Dallas County spokeswoman Maria Arita said.
American Airlines canceled more than 450 arriving and departing flights at it hub airport 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.
Flights also were canceled at Dallas Love Field, which is a big base for Southwest Airlines.
That airline canceled more than 45 flights in and out of the airport by Tuesday evening. Meteorologists said the storms were the result of slow-moving storm system centered over northern New Mexico.
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