The general manager of Autos of Dallas described the situation as truly terrifying. Although the Thursday storms that impacted North Texas are over, many people are still dealing with the cleanup. Strong winds, large hail, heavy rain, and at least three confirmed tornadoes were all brought to the area by severe weather.
Two tornadoes in Irving with peak winds between 105 and 110 mph and another in Corsicana with peak winds of 95 mph have so far been confirmed by the National Weather Service.
Tornado Damages Irving Car Dealership
As severe weather passed through the metroplex, a car dealership in Irving sustained significant damage. This area experienced a tornado touchdown, and the building was damaged in a way consistent with very strong winds.
The old facade of the car dealership will need to be replaced because it was torn off, and it is located right off Highway 183 where it crosses MacArthur Boulevard.
Dan Henry tweeted that an EF-1 with peak winds of 105 mph occurred on the north side of Irving. You can take a look below:
A third tornado now confirmed from the NWS. An EF-1 with peak winds of 105 mph occurred on the north side of Irving (north of 183). That makes two EF-1 tornadoes for Irving and one EF-1 for Corsicana. pic.twitter.com/tK8N2sKgUy
— Dan Henry (@Fox4Weather) March 17, 2023
Both clients and staff were present in the establishment. To lessen the impact of the hail, some workers hurried to move vehicles to covered areas. Most people moved to a safe room inside the main building when it became clear that there would be severe weather soon. The general manager of Autos of Dallas described the situation as truly terrifying.
“We were standing on the porch and was filing the clouds,” Davis Mullins recalled. “We saw rotation. I thought we got to get inside. It was scary. A lot of people screamed.”
Mullins claimed that the moment everyone crowded inside, the facade on the ground level collapsed.
“I mean, we live in Texas. I’m kind of a storm. But I learn about storms, I never want to be the victim. It kind of reassures the fact that you need to be aware of what’s going on,” he said.
The nearby neighborhood’s lawns are now covered in tree limbs and branches. As a portion of the roof and siding at Garden Grove Townhomes came off and the rain began to pour in, many of the units were destroyed. Now, a portion of the roof is perched atop the cars of the residents.
To assist one another, people gathered. Following an EF-1 tornado that made landfall nearby, one group was able to assist in removing a car from dense debris. Paola Leon, whose home was harmed by the tornado, recalled, “My neighbor sent us a photo of the roof destroyed, so we came as fast as we could in the rain.
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Leon and her parents reside in the complex. She displayed the filthy interior of her apartment. “We just got in the house. Everything was destroyed, including the roof, the floor, and the walls “said Leon.
Wind Rips Grand Prairie Warehouse Roof
Another location that was severely harmed by the storms was a warehouse for a disaster relief charity. Strong winds caused the warehouse’s roof to be torn off.
“I’m in our warehouse, the fire department came and shut everything off,” site manager Quincy Walker narrated the damage from inside. “We still have falling debris.”
Several businesses, including World Vision, share a building in Grand Prairie. Walker continued, “This has had a tremendous impact on us in that we are the disaster hub for our U.S. programs network.
13 people were inside, he claimed, when a portion of the roof came off. Employees present at the time described it as being extremely frightful. The sound of a freight train was mentioned. Walker claimed that while no one was hurt, some of their priceless stock was damaged.
“We have 250 to 500 pre-positioned pallets in our inventory able to respond to a disaster at a moment’s notice, but right now, we can’t do that,” Walker explained.
The majority of the damage inside the building was caused by a damaged fire sprinkler that activated. Additionally, the parking lot was covered in debris, and several loading bays had damage. Supplies for disaster relief were available in the warehouse thanks to World Vision.
The extent of the supplies’ damage is not yet known. The workers declared that the cleanup effort would be their main priority over the next few days.