ARLINGTON, Texas (NewsNation Now) — A destructive EF-2 tornado touched down Tuesday night in Arlington, Texas, leaving behind a swath of devastation and debris for locals to rebuild.
The National Weather Service confirmed the twister on Wednesday morning, and NewsNation was on the scene at one of the apartment complexes hardest hit. Residents said they didn’t know if they’d live to see the sunrise.
“A roarin’ train. A loud roarin’ train,” said Arlington resident Wilma Morris when describing the nighttime twister.
“It was like thunder and wind together,” said 12-year-old Ayanle Mohamed.
“I said this is not windy, this is different,” said Omar Ahmed.
These residents woke up to Mother Nature’s worst Wednesday morning. Construction crews, contractors and members of the American Red Cross picking up the pieces after the EF-2 twister tore through Texas and displaced about 70 families the day before Thanksgiving.
“I don’t know where all the wires came from, but it was just electricity flickering everywhere,” said Morris who lived upstairs in unit 524.
Morris says she was watching TV and never heard the wailing of a tornado siren. It was her granddaughter who jumped in to help take cover.
“She ran in there and covered me up with her body,” said Morris. “The ceiling fell down, the ceiling fan fell down first. And while she was doing that, it took the wall!”
Natural light now floods through her apartment from the roof that is no longer there.
“Yeah, I don’t want to see that again, it’s scary,” said Mohamed. For the 12 year old, this was his first tornado. His parents and four siblings huddling together to ride out the storm.
“The apartment was shaking, there was a bunch of wind that came in,” he said. “And when I checked there was a lot of trash, a lot of people outside.”
The National Weather Service confirmed winds reached max speeds of 115 miles per hour. Residents inside say that to hear that freight train coming in the night is like death knocking on your door.
“I’ve been through two now and I’ve heard that same noise. That’s a fact,” said resident Jerry Hudson.
Several, like Morris, clinging on to their faith as everything around them ripped away.
“I just said thank you, Jesus, I was thanking Him,” said Morris. “Praising him and thanking him, and we did today, too, because we’ve got our lives.”
According to the city of Arlington, three apartment buildings were hit, homes and businesses were destroyed and power was knocked out to some surrounding neighborhoods. NewsNation was told that three people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries and have been released.