Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News
Hundreds of passengers are stranded at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport after storms that moved through North Texas. American Airlines must inspect nearly 100 planes for hail damage before the aircraft can go back into service.
All American Airline flights scheduled to depart Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport were canceled after a series of tornadoes touched down across the area Tuesday.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport after 400 flights -- roughly half the daily flights typical for the airport -- were canceled. As of Tuesday night, a limited number of flights were taking off and landing.
Every airline reported hail damage on some of its aircraft. Aircraft inspections are required before any plane can be permitted to take off. American Airlines must inspect nearly 100 planes for hail damage.
Earlier Tuesday, passengers inside DFW Airport's terminals were pulled away from glass windows and herded into stairwells and restaurants. Airline workers were evacuated from tarmacs during a bout of severe lightning. DFW Airport tweeted instructions for all passengers inside the terminals to "seek shelter in one of the designated storm areas" and indicated that the airport was in "a ground stop," which prevented inbound flights from landing.
The airport provided hotel vouchers and cots to stranded passengers, and said it would keep concessions opened late.
An "all-clear" for terminals and parking garages was issued around 3 p.m., but the airport warned that delays would continue.
A tornado that appeared to be heading in the direction of Dallas Love Field was spotted from the tower at about 3 p.m., according to police representative K.C. Campbell Jr. Love Field was evacuated, and people were instructed to shelter in place.
Southwest Airlines said it canceled more than 45 flights but was back up and running by late Tuesday night.