Local Cities Healing from 100-Yard Tornado


Tornado damage from an EF1 tornado that hit Grapevine last year | Image by NBC DFW

Cities in North Texas are still recovering after a flurry of tornadoes late last year.

On December 13, a bout of severe weather spawned 14 tornadoes that moved through the Dallas-Fort Worth region, causing massive amounts of damage, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Eyewitness accounts and doppler radar confirmed EF-0 to EF-2 twisters touching down in cities such as Grapevine, North Richland Hills, and Decatur.

Just over two months after this storm system impacted the area, some communities have recovered while others are grappling with the aftermath.

An EF-1 struck Grapevine that day, damaging Grapevine Mills Mall, residential areas, and others. This tornado measured approximately 100 yards wide, according to city officials.

An eyewitness account from The Dallas Express confirmed the tornado as it passed through the area.

Grapevine Mills Mall still features scaffolding put in place where the roof of the building collapsed, in stores such as Nike and Zumiez.

Luis Holguin, a manager at Zumiez, told The Dallas Express that, while he was at a different location at the time of the storm, he had seen pictures in a group chat of holes in the ceiling, where the scaffolding is now in place.

“From what I understand, the scaffolding will be up for about 3 months just to keep the roof sturdy for all of the collapse that happened,” said Holguin.

Holguin said that he hopes that the scaffolding in his store can be removed in the coming months. He also confirmed that no employees had been hurt in the storm.

Mike Brogdin, the store manager of Burlington, told The Dallas Express that he was present at the time of the storm and witnessed the tornado as it moved through the area. While the business did experience damage to its storefront, he said that neither he nor his staff was injured.

“Most of the damage was exterior to the building. The roof lifted up just enough that it popped some support structures off and the outside walls caved out,” said Brogdin.

Brogdin further explained that there is still ongoing work to bring the building back up to standard. Nonetheless, the recovery effort was coming along smoothly, with little loss to the interior of the store.

Cross Creek at Grapevine Ranch is an apartment community adjacent to Terrawood Apartments, which was damaged by the tornado. Cross Creek staff expressed relief at the fact that, despite the tornado’s close approach, the complex sustained no damage.

“What we saw was that the roof and everything of the next apartment [complex] had come up, so I was very surprised that it didn’t hit us too because it was maybe about 100 feet away,” said Erica Mcauley, a leasing consultant at Cross Creek who witnessed the storm.

“It literally missed us by a hair,” she added.

The Dallas Express reached out to Terrawood Apartments but received no comment by the publication deadline.

Ongoing efforts continue throughout the community to address damage caused by the storm.

The next chance of severe weather in the metroplex comes on March 1.

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