The National Weather Service has confirmed two tornadoes touched down in Irving during severe storms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Thursday night.
Weather service officials gave the first tornado a preliminary rating of EF-1 with maximum winds up to 105-110 mph, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth posted on Twitter. The track of the tornado began in the northern part of Grand Prairie near the dividing line between Dallas and Tarrant counties, officials said.
10:55 AM Update: Our damage survey team has confirmed that a tornado occurred in the city of Irving. Preliminary rating is an EF-1 with max winds up to 105-110 mph.
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) March 17, 2023
Our survey team has confirmed that the track of this tornado began in Northern Grand Prairie near the Dallas/Tarrant County line. Complete details will be made available later today. https://t.co/XVKoUeY5IM
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) March 17, 2023
By Friday evening, the damage survey team had determined that a second tornado occurred on the north side of Irving, just north of Texas 183. The damage found was consistent with an EF-1 tornado with peak winds estimated up to 105 mph.
An NWS damage survey also confirmed an EF-1 tornado occurred in Navarro County near Corsicana. Maximum winds were estimated at 95 mph.
Severe storms brought heavy rain and strong winds to Dallas-Fort Worth beginning Thursday afternoon. Hail up to the size of golf balls and tennis balls fell across the region.
In Irving, part of the facade and roof was torn off the building at Autos of Dallas car dealership as people took shelter inside, but no one was injured.
Thursday’s severe weather hit the dealership at around 5:30 p.m., according to David Mullins, general manager at Autos of Dallas.
“I went outside to get my crew and any customers that were here,” Mullins said. “As we were walking in we noticed rain started but it was going sideways. Right above us it was swirling.”
“We came in and as soon as we shut the front door, the wind grabbed it and it was blowing as hard as I have ever seen in my life,” he said. “It was just unbelievable.”
The dealership secured about 30 to 40 people — including staff and five or six customers — in a walk-in safe used as a safe room, according to Mullins.
“Lights were going off and the whole building was shaking,” he said.
Hail started to hit the dealership after the tornado.
Staff and customers started leaving the dealership at around 6:30 p.m. Thursday when the rain was dying down, according to Mullins.
The severe weather also caused cracks on the ceiling of the dealership and leaks.
A wooden utility pole outside of Autos of Dallas snapped in half and fell on some cars at a neighboring dealership, Westway Ford, according to Mullins.
— FOX 4 NEWS (@FOX4) March 16, 2023
Roof damage to seven units at Garden Grove Townhomes in Irving was reported to the National Weather Service. Robert Reeves, spokesperson for the Irving Police Department, confirmed that several apartments were damaged at that location and approximately 25 residents were displaced. Residents are receiving Red Cross assistance.
— Baylee Friday (@friday_baylee) March 17, 2023
The storm also blew the roof off a warehouse in Grand Prairie, KDFW-TV reported. The warehouse is shared by several businesses, including the humanitarian organization World Vision. No injuries were reported.
— Marc Gustafson (@newsgoose) March 17, 2023
Steve Fano, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service Fort Worth, told the Star-Telegram shortly before noon that a damage survey team was sent to Grand Prairie to check for evidence of a tornado.
A tornado warning for Tarrant County was issued around 4:15 p.m. with the main area of concern around just north of where I-30 and I-35 meet. The warning was canceled about 30 minutes later. Weather spotters saw some rotation in the clouds but there was no confirmed tornado in Fort Worth, according to the National Weather Service.
Fort Worth resident Isaac Cheek drove through what he thought was a tornado Thursday evening on his way back home from Coppell.
Cheek said he was driving on southwest Texas 121 at I-35 when he saw a funnel form in the distance soon after receiving a tornado warning.
“I tried to hurry up and get on the other side of it, and the wind caught me and sideswiped my car, about threw me into the wall,” he said.
Between 4 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday, MedStar ambulance crews responded to 13 motor vehicle crashes, including two rollovers. Five people involved in the crashes were transported to hospitals.
We also responded to an occupied commercial truck that flipped over while occupied by two people during the earlier storm. Both occupants were not injured. Occurred in the Sam’s parking lot on S.H. 183 in town. Additional photo included of storm approaching taken by community… https://t.co/ll4nd8MXQZ pic.twitter.com/XGgjLWoOwd
— Christopher Cook (@cooktx) March 17, 2023
In White Settlement, police responded to a commercial truck that flipped over in the Sam’s Club parking lot on Texas 183. The two people inside the truck weren’t injured, Police Chief Christopher Cook said in a tweet.
This map contains continuously updated storm reports and damage from the National Weather Service for the past 48 hours. Reports include tornado, wind storm and hail storm reports. The map also includes tornado reports for the past week and recent rainfall accumulations. Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Esri.
Cold weather, next week’s forecast
Friday started off chilly with temperatures in the 30s and 40s and wind chills in the 20s and low 30s.
Friday highs were expected to peak in the 50s, with winds decreasing in speed over the afternoon and evening.
Cold mornings are expected to continue this weekend as lows drop into the 20s and 30s throughout much of the North Texas region, according to the weather service. If you have sensitive plants, bring them inside because patchy frost will be possible.
After a relatively cool start to the week, temperatures by the middle of next week will be in the 70s to lower 80s.
Rain chances will return late Wednesday and continue into Thursday. Another round of strong to severe storms will be possible Thursday with the arrival of another cold front.
Current temperatures and weather data from NOAA weather stations updated hourly. Tap on the map for current weather conditions, including humidity, wind speed. and direction. Data provided by NOAA and Esri.
Star-Telegram staff writer Megan Cardona contributed to this report.