North Texas region begins disaster relief, cleanup efforts after tornado leaves thousands without power

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This story was updated at 11 a.m. and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

Irving ISD has canceled classes at Lamar Middle School after a tornado ripped across Dallas County on Sunday night, causing significant damage. Thousands remain without power, according to Oncor Electric. The extent of the damage is still being determined. No major injuries have been reported.

A tornado confirmed by the National Weather Service touched down just after 9 p.m. Oct. 20 in northern Dallas and made its way east through Richardson. The city of Dallas has opened Bachman Recreation Center for people seeking shelter, according to a news release.

As of the morning of Oct. 21, about 95,000 people are without power in Oncor's service area, company spokesperson Kerri Dunn said. About 55,000 of those are located in Dallas County.

Oncor teams are responding to heavy damage that will require repairing and replacing utility poles and transformers and removing debris from transmission lines, Dunn said. Some customers should prepare for the possibility of going days without power.

A National Weather Service spokesperson said the agency has deployed teams to survey damaged areas in the following locations: the intersection of I-35E and Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas; Richardson and the east Dallas area; and the Rowlett and Garland areas.

The city of Irving reported that a downed power line at Rock Island and Crandall roads resulted in classes being cancelled at Lamar Middle School.

Richardson resident Jessica Gurganus found a tree had landed on the roof above her master bedroom, she said.

“This tree actually sold this house for me," Gurganus said. "We’ve been here 20 years now. We kind of got lucky. Now it’s just cleanup.”

The city of Richardson stated it had received multiple reports damaged gas mains and downed power lines. To report a suspected gas leak or downed power line, call 911. The Atmos Energy 24/7 emergency line for gas leaks is 866-322-8667.

For non-emergencies, including downed trees or other damage, Richardson residents can call city’s 24-hour response line at 972-744-4111.

The northbound Dallas North Tollway exit ramp to Royal Lane remains closed to traffic, the North Texas Tollway Authority reported on Monday.

The city of Dallas reported multiple streets in the north central and northwest portions of the city remain closed as of 6 a.m. Monday.

Street closures for the North Central Section of the city:
Hillcrest Road/Walnut Hill Lane
Hillcrest Road/Royal Lane
No Westbound Royal Lane at St. Michaels Drive
No Northbound St. Michaels Drive at Royal Lane
Preston Road/Royal Lane

Street closures for the Northwest Section of the city:
Marsh Lane/Walnut Hill Lane
Harry Hines Boulevard/Manana Drive
Denton Drive/Lombardy Lane
Walnut Hill Lane/Monroe Drive
Harry Hines Boulevard/Freewood Drive
Harry Hines Boulevard/Walnut Hill Lane
Walnut Hill Lane/Webb Chapel Road
Walnut Hill Lane/Midway Road
Shady Trail/Andjon Drive
Walnut Hill Lane/Marsh Lane
Walnut Hill Lane/Woodleigh Drive
Preston Road/Norway Road
Shady Trail/Southwell Road
Webb Chapel Road/Kinkaid Drive
Marsh Lane/Woodleigh Drive
Walnut Hill Lane/Shady Trail
Harry Hines Boulevard/Brenner Drive

Valerie Wigglesworth contributed to this story.
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By Olivia Lueckemeyer

Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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