Eleven confirmed tornadoes swept across North Texas on Wednesday, an increase from the previous estimate of at least six twisters, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
No one died as a result of any of the tornadoes, according to the weather service, but storm systems produced wind gusts of up to 125 mph that snapped trees, downed power lines and damaged dozens of homes, from minor damage to complete losses. Two tornadoes occurred in Tarrant County, including one in North Fort Worth packing up to 90 mph winds and one in Saginaw with a maximum of 80 mph winds.
The tornado with the highest winds occurred about 4:51 p.m. in the Whitton area of Van Zandt County, where a twister with a reported width of 700 yards and peak winds of 125 mph tore through communities.
Homes lost parts of their roofs, according to the weather service. One manufactured home was thrown off of its foundation and decimated.
“This was a widespread event,” weather service meteorologist Monique Fellers said. “This was one of those days where basically everybody had to be on their toes.”
Of the 11 tornadoes reported by the weather service on the dreary day, six were classified as EF-0 (65 to 85 mph), three were classified as EF-1 (86 to 110 mph) and two were classified as EF-2 (111 to 135 mph). Five tornadoes occurred in Van Zandt County, two occurred in Tarrant County, and one occurred in Denton, Rockwall, Kaufman and Fannin counties.
Fellers said the tornadoes came during a period in which a storm system capable of producing tornadoes was hanging over much of the country. On Wednesday, she said, the environment was conducive for tornadoes, with heavy moisture, strong shear — the twisting of wind — and strong lift, due to a cold front.
Winds damaged or destroyed 25 homes in the Cedar Creek Reservoir of Kaufman County, according to the Associated Press. That tornado system, according to the weather service, snapped large hardwood trees and lifted part of the roof off of one house.
In the Heritage neighborhood in far north Fort Worth, fences were knocked down, live oak trees were ripped apart and shingles were blown off rooftops.
The tornado numbers could still change as meteorologists continue to review the Wednesday storm, according to the weather service.