(DALLAS) — Powerful tornadoes carved a path of destruction through the north Texas area on Tuesday, tossing tractor-trailers into the road and tangling power lines among remnants of homes and personal possessions.
Brandy Kemps took a video of the dark funnel cloud from work, but when her co-worker got a little too bold taking pictures outside, Kemps’ voice betrayed the terror of an oncoming tornado.
“Come on get your butt back over here,” she shouted from the entryway of the building where she works. “Marlena get in here! Come on, it’s coming over here!”
Kemps told ABC News she had never seen “anything like this.”
“Debris was flying right in front of me in the air — shingles, dirt, tree limbs. The tornado funnel was coming right at us, then went directly behind the apartment building I was in and then made a right toward 45 North,” she said.
As the twisters continued on their rampage, more than 28,000 customers were left without power in the area.
Robert Cluck, the mayor of Arlington, declared a state of emergency to last for up to seven days, citing “widespread and severe damage.” The city also set up a disaster center.
Eight Texas counties faced severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The counties included Dallas, Kaufman, Rockwall, Delta, Hopkins, Hunt, Bosque and McLennan counties.
A tornado ripped through the operating facility for Schneider National, a trucking company, and tossed massive trucks high into the air and spun them around before smashing them to the ground. Flattened and crumpled trailers littered the area in the aftermath of the twister.
At the Texas Rangers stadium, a heavy tarp covering the baseball field for Tuesday night’s exhibition game was whipped around by the force of the storm in a video captured by the team’s catcher, Mike Napoli.
In Kaufman County, Crosby Elementary School sustained significant damage from the storm, along with 20 homes. One was completely demolished, Brian Brooks, Forney City Manager said.
Despite all the structural damage, no major injuries have been reported.
At Dallas Fort Worth Airport, over 400 flight departures were cancelled, and 40 flights headed for Dallas were diverted during the peak of the storm, airport spokesman David Magaña said in a statement. Passengers were sheltered prior to the storm, with care taken to keep them safely away from windows.
Aircraft at Dallas did not fare as well; as many as 110 aircraft suffered some degree of damage from hail during the storm, according to the statement.
Storm damage elsewhere in the area was stunning; footage from ABC News affiliate WFAA showed rooftops flying off homes.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire