EF-1 tornado confirmed in Irving during Thursday storms, National Weather Service says

Posted at 2:59 PM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 15:59:08-04

FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM — The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Irving during severe storms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Thursday night.

Weather service officials gave the tornado a preliminary rating of EF-1 with maximum winds up to 105-110 mph, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth posted on Twitter.

The track of the tornado began in the northern part of Grand Prairie near the dividing line between Dallas and Tarrant counties, officials said.

Severe storms brought heavy rain and strong winds to Dallas-Fort Worth beginning Thursday afternoon. Hail up to the size of golf balls and tennis balls fell across the region.

In Irving, part of the façade and roof was torn off the building at Autos of Dallas car dealership as people took shelter inside, but no one was injured.

Roof damage to seven units at Garden Grove Townhomes in Irving was reported to the National Weather Service. Robert Reeves, spokesperson for the Irving Police Department, confirmed that several apartments were damaged at that location and approximately 25 residents were displaced. Residents are receiving Red Cross assistance.

The storm also blew the roof off a warehouse in Grand Prairie, KDFW-TV reported. The warehouse is shared by several businesses, including the humanitarian organization World Vision. No injuries were reported.

Steve Fano, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service Fort Worth, told the Star-Telegram shortly before noon that a damage survey team was sent to Grand Prairie to check for evidence of a tornado.

A tornado warning for Tarrant County was issued around 4:15 p.m. with the main area of concern around just north of where I-30 and I-35 meet. The warning was canceled about 30 minutes later. Weather spotters saw some rotation in the clouds but there was no confirmed tornado in Fort Worth, according to the National Weather Service.

Fort Worth resident Isaac Cheek drove through what he thought was a tornado Thursday evening on his way back home from Coppell.

Cheek said he was driving on southwest Texas 121 at I-35 when he saw a funnel form in the distance soon after receiving a tornado warning.

“I tried to hurry up and get on the other side of it, and the wind caught me and sideswiped my car, about threw me into the wall,” he said.

Between 4 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday, MedStar ambulance crews responded to 13 motor vehicle crashes, including two rollovers. Five people involved in the crashes were transported to hospitals.

In White Settlement, police responded to a commercial truck that flipped over in the Sam’s Club parking lot on Texas 183. The two people inside the truck weren’t injured, Police Chief Christopher Cook said in a tweet.