GARLAND, Texas — Tornadoes that swept through the Dallas area Saturday caused substantial damage, and at least 11 people died and dozens were injured either from the storm or related traffic accidents.
It’s the latest of a succession of freakish winter-weather events across the country that could include heavy snow and massive flooding today from north Texas through eastern Oklahoma, eastern Kansas, western Arkansas and parts of Missouri. Days of tumultuous weather in the Southeast have led to 29 deaths — the 11 in Texas, plus 18 in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Arkansas.
The full extent of the damage in Texas isn’t yet known along a nearly 40-mile stretch from 20 miles south of Dallas to northeast of the city, though there were reports of the storm blowing the roofs off homes, mangling vehicles, damaging churches, downing power lines and toppling trees.
National Weather Service survey teams headed out today to determine the number and strength of the tornadoes; meteorologist Matt Bishop said he believed there were several. Bishop said the tornado outbreak at this time of year for North Texas occurs “from time to time.”
Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau said this morning that eight people have died and 15 were injured in Garland, which is about 20 miles northeast of Dallas. That death toll has gone up by three since Saturday night.
Barineau said about 600 structures were damaged, the majority of which were single-family homes.
In far West Texas, up to four inches of snow fell overnight in the Alpine area, with foot-deep drifts reported.
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