FORNEY, Texas — As a twister bore down on her neighborhood, Sherry Enochs grabbed the three young children in her home and hid in her bathtub. The winds swirled and snatched away two of the children. Her home collapsed around her.
Miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.
Enochs, 53, stood Wednesday amid the wreckage of what was once her home in the North Texas city of Forney, among the hardest hit by a series of tornadoes that barreled through one of the nation's largest metropolitan areas a day earlier. No one was reported dead, and of the more than 20 injured, only a handful were seriously hurt.
"If you really think about it, the fact that everybody who woke up in Forney yesterday is alive today in Forney, that's a real blessing," Mayor Darren Rozell said.
The National Weather Service is investigating the damage caused by the tornadoes, which appeared to flatten some homes and graze others next door. The twisters jumped from place to place, passing many heavily populated areas overhead and perhaps limiting what could have been a more damaging, deadly storm. Most of Dallas was spared the full wrath of the storms.
While tornadoes can strike major cities, having two major systems strike a single metropolitan area is highly unusual, meteorologist Jesse Moore said. The Texas twisters would have done more damage had they stayed on the ground for more of the storms' path. But weather experts and officials credited the quick response to tornado warnings for preventing deaths or more injuries.
Seven people were injured in Forney, none seriously. An additional 10 people were hurt in Lancaster, south of Dallas, and three people in Arlington, west of Dallas.
National Weather Service crews in Forney, east of Dallas, spotted storm damage that suggested the twister there was an EF3, with wind speeds as high as 165 mph. Other tornadoes in Arlington and Lancaster appear to have been EF2 tornadoes, with wind speeds up to 135 mph.