The National Weather Service has confirmed that three tornadoes ripped through North Texas on Sunday night, two in Dallas County and one in Van Zandt County, arising out of a storm system that caused widespread damage across the area.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for 16 counties that sustained damage from the system.
In a preliminary report, the NWS said of the two twisters that hit Dallas County one was rated an EF-3 and the other one was rated EF-1.
The EF-3 tornado originated around 9 pm over Love Field airport in North Dallas. It had estimated winds of 140 mph, was on the ground for nearly 16 miles and caused significant damage.
The second tornado swept through the Rowlett area and was consistent with an EF-1 tornado rating, the NWS said. The Rowlett twister damaged trees, businesses and homes. The NWS estimated the Rowlett tornado had winds of 100 mph.
A brief tornado, rated EF-0, also hit in nearby Van Zandt County at about 11 pm Sunday night, the NWS said. Peak winds were estimated at 78 mph.
There were numerous reports of hail across North Texas associated with the weather system that produced the tornadoes. CoreLogic Weather Verification Services has confirmed there was large hail up to 2.5 inches in North Dallas and up to 1.5 inches south of Dallas.
Under the disaster declaration, state resources will be provided to local officials and certain regulations will be waived to allow utility companies “to bring in out-of-state resources to assist in restoring power as quickly as possible,” according to an announcement released by the governor’s office.
The declaration includes Cass, Cameron, Collin, Dallas, Ellis, Erath, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Panola, Rains, Rockwall, Rusk, Tarrant, Van Zandt and Wood Counties.
Homes and commercial buildings across the affected areas were badly damaged or destroyed by the severe weather system.
The Associated Press reported that storms also caused damage in Arkansas, Oklahoma and southern Missouri as the system moved to the northeast early Monday. One person died in northwest Arkansas when a tree fell on a home in Rogers, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock, according to the Benton County Department of Public Safety. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said “significant storm damage” occurred in northwest Arkansas, including damage from and EF-1 tornado that injured at least five people in Northeastern Arkansas.
Authorities said severe thunderstorms were responsible for the deaths of at least three people in eastern Oklahoma, according to AP reports.
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