Tonight has been rather dramatic, for lack of a better way of describing it. We experienced a near miss—and I truly mean a near miss—by a wedge tornado. From what I gather so far through local news reports, the twister tracked for several miles on a path from south to north and passed within a mile or two east of our house. Dozens if not hundreds of homes in the cities of Garland and Rowlett were severely damaged, and more than ten thousand people are currently without power. Injuries have been reported, but Garland Police spokesman Joe Harn does not have a number at this time.
Five deaths have been confirmed close to my neighborhood in Garland. Police are still trying to determine whether they were in a car blown off of the freeway as the tornado came through. At least one body was reported to be found outside of a vehicle. Three other deaths—one, sadly, of an infant—have been confirmed elsewhere in North Texas tonight as a result of other possible tornadoes.
It would appear that we were extremely lucky. Our power went out for a few minutes, and the tornado sirens blew for a brief time. That seems to be the extent of our encounter with this deadly storm. Others who I know were not so lucky—two people had structural damage to their homes, while another is without power and is watching a gas fire in a home at the end of their block.
Everyone in the Jackson household is running on an adrenaline boost at the moment as we watch reports of damage on the news. Weathercasters are guessing that a total of eleven tornadoes may have hit North Texas, and are warning of more potentially severe storms that will move in tonight and tomorrow.
Our thoughts are with those affected by the storm. A very near miss indeed.