About 6:15 PM yesterday, just as the monthly SEAoT dinner meeting was
getting underway in Dallas, two tornadoes struck nearby Fort Worth and
Arlington. These tornadoes were more selective than normal, avoiding common
targets such as mobile homes and pre-engineered metal buildings. Instead,
they devastated major office buildings and other large structures in
downtown Fort Worth and two-story wood frame brick homes in south Arlington.
Many of the high-rise buildings in downtown Fort Worth lost most or all of
their glass curtainwalls, and the central business district will apparently
be closed for several days. (Whoever was recently thinking of using glass
as a structural material should forget about it!) The local FBI office was
destroyed, and agents are scouring nearby parking lots this morning for
their confidential files, which literally scattered in the wind. More than
100 homes were damaged, and at least thirty were destroyed. Miraculously,
only four people were killed and very few were seriously injured.
The links below provide various videos of the tornadoes. At noon today
(CST), you can watch live storm coverage at the third link.
Stan Caldwell, P.E.