The images captured on video are stunning: orange trailers are lifted from the ground by a tornado and tossed hundreds of feet as easily as toys. Power transformers explode as the twister rips through an industrial area south of Dallas.
As many as 12 or 13 tornadoes left a swathe of damage in towns such as Arlington and Lancaster south of Dallas yesterday afternoon, destroying or damaging hundreds of buildings and grounding planes and travelers at local airports.
As of Wednesday morning, no fatalities were reported and fewer than 20 injuries. The fact that the tornadoes struck during the afternoon, when many people were away from home or able to take refuge, probably saved lives.
Schneider National says it suffered “massive damage” to the trucks and trailers parked at its operating center in Dallas, located near the intersection of I-20 and I-35E south of Dallas itself and just north of hard-hit Lancaster, Texas.
There were 254 trucks and 204 trailers on the site when the tornado, one of perhaps a dozen that struck the area Tuesday afternoon, touched down. No injuries were reported at the terminal, the truckload carrier saidlate Tuesday.
“Initial reports indicate they were was no damage to our building,” company spokesperson Erin Elliott said in an e-mail message. News reports said some trailers landed on houses, though it wasn’t clear if they were Schneider trailers.
“Our first priority is the safety of our associates,” said Elliott. “We are currently assessing the status of all associates on location at the time of the tornado.” About 65 Schneider employees work at the facility, used by 200 to 300 drivers each day.