Photo by Adam Gonzalez in Arlington
DALLAS - The National Weather Service confirms two tornadoes hit North Texas early Wednesday morning.
An EF-0 tornado hit along the Keller-Watauga border and an EF-1 struck in Lewisville. The overnight storms also brought some light hail and a lot of rain, lightning and wind.
Derick Grissett was sound asleep with his dog when his house in Lewisville started to shake.
“All I did was roll over and picked her up like this and ran into the bathroom,” he said.
When Grissett walked outside just a few minutes later, his home was heavily damaged.
“Boards stared going through these, and then this basketball hoop went through this and just shattered it into dust,” he said.
Grissett is just one of dozens of people living along Ramblewood Avenue and Fox Drive in Lewisville that was shaken awake by an EF-1 tornado.
“All of the winds were pretty much going this way, and all of the debris started coming back this way,” explained NWS Meteorologist Mark Fox. “So you have a lot of swirling of winds and things like that. Didn't last very long. Two to three minutes and then it was all gone.”
Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt said one person was hurt and taken to the hospital, but the injuries are not life threatening.
“You can see with the damage that you have behind me here how substantial that is with someone waking up at 3:30 a.m. and that kind of thing only to have one person injured,” the mayor said.
The National Weather Service said the Rockwall damage was caused by 90-95 MPH straight-line winds.
In parts of Tarrant County, there were trampolines on their sides, awnings on top of cars, trees toppled and fences on the ground. Portable buildings were scattered across the parking lot outside the Home Depot in Keller.
Tonya Tew and Jimmy Judkins said it felt like the wind was lifting their home near Benbrook around 1:30 a.m. Their bedroom ceiling is now gone. They’ve also lost part of their barn and their neighbors lost a carport and cars.
“I just heard this loud noise and I opened my eyes and looked up and just like the house was lifting. The ceiling fan looked like it was coming down on me and then it went right back up like a foot. I mean, it was scary,” Tew said. “It just was like coming down and I started screaming. And next thing you know it is and it’s raining in and it’s coming down.”
FOX 4 viewer Adam Gonzalez submitted a photo of a tree limb that fell through his roof in Arlington. It ended up dangling just feet away over his bed.
The gusty winds also brought down power lines across the Metroplex. Oncor estimates there are still 30,000 people without power in Tarrant County.
Downed power lines on Hwy. 377 in Keller and on Interstate 20 at Mountain Creek Parkway in Grand Prairie meant closures all morning as crews work to repair the poles and lines.
The storm knocked power out at schools around North Texas on Wednesday. While some districts decided to cancel class, other districts kept schools open even without power.
Before dawn, Mansfield ISD decided to close all of its schools. Half were without power and roads were dangerous.
"Early this morning this road was impassible our kids have testing we were worried about getting them to school on time. Luckily Mansfield cancelled,” said parent Mike Andra.
But other Mansfield parents complained on the district's Facebook page that school buses had already picked their kids up. The buses had to take the kids right back home.
Fort Worth ISD and Dallas ISD both chose to keep schools without power open, depending on natural light through windows.
Gracie Chavez says she did not know her 12-year-old daughter's school, Morningside Middle Schoo,l was without power.
"If there is no light it is not good for the girls if they have to use the restroom,” said Chavez. “I didn't feel like she was safe there"
When Chavez found out about the outage she picked her daughter up.
Now thousands of students all around North Texas will have to spend another day preparing for the STAAR test. All the districts say the test was cancelled in schools without power. The state will allow students who missed the test today to take it on a makeup day.
There are still 5 schools in Mansfield that have not yet been cleared to reopen on Thursday.
They are: Carol Holt Elementary School, D.P. Morris Elementary School, Nancy Neal Elementary School, James Coble Middle School, Summit High School.