North Texas Tornadoes | KERA News

North Texas Tornadoes

Ten tornadoes hit North Texas on Dec. 26.

Twelve tornadoes struck parts of North Texas on Dec. 26, 2015. Thirteen people were killed, hundreds of homes were damaged and four North Texas counties were declared disaster areas by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Scroll down to explore complete coverage from the KERA News team. Here are the stories of the devastation in several North Texas suburbs; voices of those who survived; and what we know about those who died. Plus, find out how others have been helping those affected by the tornadoes. 

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The strongest of last month's tornados hit North Dallas -- and destroyed every single building at North Haven Gardens, a 5-acre family-owned nursery. The storm obliterated about 65% of the inventory. Everything that's left is part of a special "tornado survivor sale."

Amy McCoy / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Forecasters say at least five tornadoes hit parts of north and east Texas in a storm system that damaged dozens of homes and left one person hurt.

National Weather Service

Severe storms hit counties east of Dallas-Fort Worth Wednesday evening. There were reports of damage and debris in the town of Canton in Van Zandt County, about 60 miles east of Dallas.

Allison V. Smith for KERA News

As 3-year-old Arian and his mom Lindsay Diaz patiently roll Play-Doh into snakes on the island in their new kitchen, a rumble can be heard just outside their front door.

Crews are taking down a tornado-damaged house across the way — two and a half years after the storm that destroyed it tore through Rowlett.

As Cities Sprawl, More Texans Are Exposed To Tornadoes

May 17, 2018
Lara Solt / KERA News special contributor

Mark Fox cringes every time he relives the day his worst weather nightmare came true.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

Two weeks ago, Rowlett resident Lindsay Diaz got news that her storm-damaged home had been demolished by mistake.

Lara Solt / KERA special contributor

KERA’s series, One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life chronicles families on the financial edge, trying to recover from the Christmas weekend tornadoes.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life follows four families on the financial edge, trying to recover from the Christmas weekend tornadoes.

Lara Solt / KERA news special contributor

A dozen storms pummeled North Texas the day after Christmas, killing 13 people and destroying hundreds of homes. Nothing illuminates life on the financial edge like a tornado. That’s the focus of KERA’s new series, One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life.

Kirk K / Flickr Creative Commons

Five stories that have North Texas talking: The Austin-San Antonio breakfast taco debacle has escalated; Super Tuesday’s results could go one of six ways; Texans think it’s hard to see a doctor these days; KERA News launched its latest digital project, One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life; and more.

A new type of weather radar is being tested in North Texas – it was used during December’s deadly tornadoes; and it has a long name: Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of The Atmosphere or CASA. Mark Fox is with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth and he explores the future of Texas weather technology.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

It’s been a little more than a month since tornadoes wrecked some North Texas neighborhoods. In the Garland Independent School District, officials have been busy helping students and their families get through the recovery process.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

Folks right in the path of the Christmas weekend tornadoes couldn’t do much to save their houses. For those who avoid a direct hit, building codes are supposed to protect homes from serious damage.

Jaime / Flickr

On Dec. 26, sirens rang out across North Texas, warning of the dozen tornadoes that would soon touch down. Sirens like those actually fire off less frequently than they did even a few years ago, thanks to advancements in radar technology.

Wendy Sanders / Facebook

It’s been a week-and-a half since a dozen tornadoes ripped through North Texas, killing 11 people and flattening hundreds of buildings. In Collin County, parents of 35 kids enrolled at a destroyed daycare are scrambling to re-arrange childcare.

Returning To Normal: Garland Starts Rebuilding

Jan 5, 2016
Stephanie Kuo / KERANews

Garland has started a 10-week cleanup, and kids have returned to school, after last month’s deadly tornado. 

National Weather Service / Twitter/@nwsfortworth

The Garland Independent School District is one of the school systems in the tornado zone that’s scrambling to reopen. No school buildings there were seriously damaged, but there are all sorts of complications – displaced families, disrupted bus routes, destroyed bus stops.

Jackie Arias

South of Dallas, more than 170 buildings were damaged or destroyed by the EF-3 tornado that hit Ellis County. That includes Shields Elementary in the Red Oak Independent School District. 


On the night when 12 tornadoes raced across North Texas, it was up to first responders – police, firefighters, paramedics – to get folks out of harm’s way. 

birchmencolonizer / Reddit

The city of Garland has released some of the first 911 calls from Saturday night’s tornadoes. They’re dramatic. 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The Insurance Council of Texas says insured losses from the North Texas tornadoes will top $1.2 billion, and could go even higher. As folks in the hardest-hit areas scramble to line up replacement housing, insurance adjusters are becoming central figures in their lives. 

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

Saturday’s North Texas tornadoes caused at least $1 billion in damages.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Saturday’s tornado destroyed numerous homes and businesses in rural Collin County. Two people died near a feed store in Copeville and an infant died 20 minutes north in Blue Ridge. 

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

After nine tornadoes hit North Texas over the weekend, what can people in Ellis, Dallas and Collin counties learn from folks who’ve lived through previous twisters? 

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

In rural Collin County, three people died during Saturday’s tornado outbreak. Part of the destruction happened in Copeville, east of Lavon Lake. A husband and wife reflect on their dramatic evening. 

Stephanie Kuo / KERANews

In Garland, many residents returned home Monday for the first time to assess tornado damage. In one neighborhood, just south of the intersection of Interstate 30 and the President George Bush Turnpike, the wreckage is particularly severe. 

Eleven people died Saturday after tornadoes ripped through North Texas on Saturday. Here's what we know so far about those who died:

Stella Chavez/KERA News

Nine tornadoes destroyed more than 1,000 buildings in four North Texas counties Saturday.

Parts of North Texas, already reeling from deadly tornadoes over the weekend, could see flooding Monday, the National Weather Service says. Blizzard warnings are also in effect in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles and into western Oklahoma.

Possible flooding Monday extends from northeast Texas to the Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys, while winter storm warnings, watches and advisories "extended from central Texas northeastward through the Midwest and the Great Lakes," the National Weather Service says.

Todd Gottel, Rowlett Mayor

The top local stories this morning from the KERA Newsroom: Neighborhoods in Garland and Rowlett took some of the biggest punches from Saturday’s tornadoes. KERA's Bill Zeeble talked to some people yesterday who lived through the storms.