Crews searched Monday through the rubble of buildings torn apart by a tornado that ripped through the Dallas area the night before, causing damage to homes and businesses and knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of people.
Radar confirmed the tornado hit the ground near Love Field Airport and moved northeast through the city around 9 p.m. Sunday, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Godwin. There were no reports of fatalities or serious injuries early Monday, according to a release from the city of Dallas, but Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans says three people were hospitalized for evaluation of non-life-threatening injuries.
The storms also caused damage in Arkansas and Oklahoma as the system moved to the northeast early Monday. Power was out at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Highfill, about 155 miles (250 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock. The airport says flights were still departing, though security screenings were being done manually.
Tornado warnings were in effect Monday morning in far eastern Arkansas near the Mississippi River as the storm system moved to the east. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee could see severe thunderstorms later Monday.
In Texas, heavy damage was reported in northwest Dallas and Richardson. Nearly 140,000 electric customers were without power as of 4 a.m. Monday, according to Oncor's online outage map. The electric utility said storms across East Texas had caused significant damage to power lines.
Around 65,000 of the affected electric customers were within Dallas, according to the city, which said it would open a shelter.
Crews searched through homes and businesses that were accessible for about six hours overnight, but were hampered by "limited access and lack of proper lighting," Evans said. A second set of teams were to resume search efforts in daylight.
Seven people escaped a structure that collapsed in northwest Dallas, but Dallas Fire-Rescue were searching to see if anyone was left inside, Evans said. WFAA-TV reported that a convenience store collapsed in the storm, but the clerk told the station that everyone who was inside made it out safely.
Evans said the department had also received multiple calls from people injured in their homes by broken glass.
On Twitter, Dallas Fire-Rescue said one of its own stations sustained significant damage during the storms overnight, and included photos that appeared to show a collapsed roof and debris. Evans said none of the firefighters at Station 41 were hurt, but said the roof was torn off by the high winds.