Two tornadoes touched down south of Dallas catapulting 18-wheelers across the area. Aerials from KXAS.
As dark storm clouds ripped across northern Texas on Tuesday afternoon, hurling semi-trucks into the air and uprooting trees, sirens sounded as a warning to residents.
But sometimes sirens also trigger panic, so many Texans turned to Twitter and Facebook to express a sentiment best summed up by Khloe Kardashian Odom, the reality TV personality, when she tweeted, “OMG another tornado!!!! What???”
Others shared 140-character stories, informing strangers in the comments sections of news sites that their loved ones were safe, or that they were trying to locate them.
Joanne Surrency of Las Vegas wrote on Facebook that her brother-in-law works at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. “They all went to bunkers under airport haven’t heard back yet pls pray for everyone in Dallas,” she wrote.
Monica Hunter of Grand Prairie, Texas, said her parents took shelter in a closet as the impressive funnel cloud consumed the sky.
“I pray that everyone will be OK,” she wrote.
Minutes later, she logged back on to Facebook. Her parents were fine, she said, and could not spot damage from their home near Bear Creek.
On Facebook, MSN asked readers to report their experiences. Within hours, 100 had commented. Sirens had been wailing all around Dallas since noon, they said, coupled with the sound of howling wind. Lightning flashed and rain poured.
Brittany Coplen couldn’t see what was going on outside because, she wrote, “We are in the bathroom!”
Beth Cook Armstrong lamented that she doesn’t like spring weather in Texas. “Lived here my whole life and still don’t like this spring weather,” she said. “It’s very dark outside and very still, which we all know is worrisome.”
Widespread damage is seen from the air and ground in the immediate aftermath of a tornado which tore through neighborhoods and commercial areas. Msnbc's Tamron Hall reports.
But Lise Vintage Lighting wrote that Texans are tough when it comes to tornadoes and they take storm warnings in stride. She said she felt comfortable working, although she did have a shelter plan.
“Around here I observed several lawn crews continue mowing even when sirens went off,” Lighting wrote. “I also saw a woman walking her dog, monitoring her iPhone the whole time.”
Elsewhere on Facebook, Glenn Parker wrote that he was at Tarrant County College in Arlington, Texas. There, students were pushed into a shelter. The students immediately jumped onto their cell phones, he said. He said one student became so claustrophobic that the school staff allowed him to leave the room.
As Arlington School District sent its children into shelters, the city of Arlington tweeted an alarming bit of news for people in airtight spaces: There had been reports of ruptured gas lines. The city asked residents to call 911 if they smelled gas.
For those who hadn't yet caught a glimpse of the mayhem or seen the golf ball-sized hail, the interest was in figuring out where the tornado had been, where it was now and where it was headed.
An NBC Storify news item summed up the news as it happened, providing a hub for the most terrifying videos of the tornado picking up and tossing tractor trailers through the air as though they were toys.
Some of the best updates came from the storm chasers – those thrill seekers who line up, bumper to bumper, following the trucks equipped with weather-monitoring devices.
Peter Delkus, a forecaster with WFAA.com in the Dallas region, tweeted, “Folks near Forney – take cover! Circulation is increasing and we’ve had reports from storm chasers of a possible funnel cloud.”
In response to the storm-chaser tweets, Ben Cantin-Kranz, or @ben_ck, a marketing manager, wrote, “Anyone remember that movie "Twister"? How could it have been better? If storm chasers had twitter!”
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