GARLAND, TX (KXAS) — Eleven people have died after severe storms spawned several tornadoes Saturday afternoon and evening in North Texas, officials say. Late Sunday morning, the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth confirmed one tornado in Garland was an EF4 rated storm.
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth confirmed at least one tornado touched down south of Dallas, activating warning sirens across the region.
The storms left homes’ roofs blown away, vehicles mangled or turned upside down, churches damaged, power lines down, natural gas lines burst, trees toppled and debris strewn across neighborhoods along a 40-mile-long stretch from 20 miles south of Dallas to northeast of the city.
Eight deaths occurred near the intersection of Interstate 30 and the President George Bush Turnpike in Garland, within a couple thousand feet of each other, Garland police spokesman Mike Hatfield said.
It is believed all eight victims were in vehicles at the time, Hatfield said.
Two other people died at a gas station that was destroyed in Copeville, according to Collin County emergency management officials.
Significant storm damage has also been reported near Rowlett and Waxahachie.
The Ellis County Emergency Management Agency says about 40 homes there have been damaged or destroyed. Two people were transported to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries and several others were treated on the street for minor injuries, officials said.
At least 30 homes were estimated to be damaged near Farm-to-Market Road 664 near Ovilla.
The American Red Cross is launching a region-wide response to the storms. One shelter has opened so far. It is located at Red Oak Middle School, 154 Louise Ritter Blvd. in Red Oak.
A previous version of this story reported that the shelter was located at Shields Elementary, but the shelter has been moved to Red Oak Middle due to a power outage at Shields.
Officials in Rowlett said they have established a temporary shelter at Steadham Elementary School, located at 6200 Dandridge Road, for those affected by the tornado.
To check on loved ones in the North Texas area you can go to:
– Or call 1-800-REDCROSS.