FIRST PERSON | DALLAS -- While sitting at my desk across from Love Field Airport this afternoon, I suddenly got a pop-up message from my company that severe weather was headed our way.
A few minutes later, another message popped up announcing that a tornado watch had been issued for the area.
The next message was that a tornado warning had been issued and to identify my "safe location" in the building. Mine was a copy room just down the hall.
Having a great team of meteorologists in my company, I received up-to-date information about the storm. Admittedly, storms make me very nervous, so I didn't like hearing that tornadoes were in the area. It took a few minutes for us to realize that there were actually two large storms just a few miles apart.
Looking outside, the sky was very dark and ominous. It was raining and hailing. The odd thing -- no cars on the street. It was as if everyone was inside trying to wait out the storm. This was when I became really anxious. Texas drivers don't usually stop for anything, so I knew this must be bad.
Right up the road at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, passengers and employees were being moved to safe areas of the airport. A tornado was reported by the south side of the airport, and damage has been reported to cars in the remote parking area. Airplanes have also been damaged from the hail. It will take hours to get everything back on track.
Near DFW in Arlington, the large tornado that touched down left a path of destruction. Roofs were blown off, cars overturned, trees knocked down, etc. Tractor trailers were thrown through the air like toy cars. That storm is now headed north toward Dallas and Plano. Unfortunately, that is where my house is located and where my son is in school. The school has initiated their bad weather procedures, and the children have been taken to safe areas. I would love to jump in the car and go get him, but I know that wouldn't be a smart thing to do right now.
Things are clearing by my office, but now I have no cell phone service. It seems the storms have damaged some of the cell towers. There are power lines down across Dallas, and many people are without electricity. It could be several hours before power is restored. Folks in the affected areas are going out and checking on neighbors and assessing the damage. It's going to be a long afternoon in Dallas.