At least 11 people have been confirmed dead after huge storms swept through the Lone Star State. It was a Christmas week to forget for folks living in the Dallas area of Texas.
These storms, which spawned tornadoes and blizzards, blew off rooftops, uprooted trees and left destruction in their wake. According to ABC News correspondents David Warren and Resse Dunklin:
“The full extent of damage from Saturday’s storms along a nearly 40-mile stretch near Dallas came into clear focus. Local officials estimated as many as 1,450 homes were damaged or destroyed in storms that the National Weather Service said produced nine tornadoes. Vehicles were mangled, power lines fell and trees were toppled. Heavy rain, wind and falling temperatures hampered cleanup efforts Sunday afternoon.”
It is reported that Garland, one of the communities worst hit accounted for eight deaths, 15 injuries and the destruction of 600 mostly single-family homes.
Garland Police Lt. Pedro Barineau stated that:
‘This is a huge impact on our community, and we’re all suffering.’
One of the tornadoes were, according to Melissa Gray and Tony Marco of CNN, an EF-3 tornado which has typical gusts of between 136 and 165 mph, and wreaked havoc in nearby Rowlett. The EF-4 tornado with typical wind gusts of between 166 and 200 mph was responsible for the huge damage experienced in Garland, which led to 8 of the 11 recorded deaths in Texas.
According to Lt. Chris Harvey, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, three deaths were reported in Collin County, while an infant was confirmed dead in Blue Ridge.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot has declared a disaster in Dallas County, which covers Garland; Rockwall County, which covers Rowlett; and Collin and Ellis counties.
Due to these massive forces of nature, there are fears of more extreme weather conditions. As of Sunday, December 27, Dallas had wildly changing weather with Saturday recording as high as 82 degrees and Sunday down to 41. CNN meteorologist Rachel Aissen thinks Monday will bring with it freezing temperatures.
Rescue and recovery efforts are currently ongoing and all agencies have been asked to be a part of it, while the Red Cross has set up temporary shelters in the Dallas area for those affected by the forces of nature.
More information will follow as events unfold.