High Wind, Debris Causes Major Damage in Dallas

The high winds on Sunday afternoon blew out windows of skyscrapers and took down trees and traffic signals in downtown Dallas.

The city's office of emergency management said there were no reports of injuries related to the broken windows or downed trees.

Repairing traffic signals would be one of the city's first priorities, officials said at a Sunday night press conference. Repairs will be made first to lights that are completely inoperable, while lights that are flashing red will be next.

At the KPMG building downtown, nearly a dozen windows were broken when construction debris from another building slammed into the windows between the 17th and 19th floors.

"It's supposed to withstand high winds, high storms, but debris is a whole different story," said Vince Ortega with the Hall Group.

Crews quickly roped off the courtyard below the building, where broken glass littered the pavement.

Ortega said if the storms hit during a weekday, there could have been hundreds of people around when the glass went flying.

"It was a blessing it was on a Sunday and not a Monday. We could have been telling a whole different story if it would have happened during the week," Ortega said.

At street level, 17-year-old Kevin Contreras was working a food stand near the Arts District with his mom when he noticed a severe weather alert on his phone.

"It was really sunny, like right now," Contreras said. "So, I thought it was nothing."

But Contreras said the skies darkened and the wind picked up, forcing him and his mom to run for shelter.

"Me and my mom were in the car and it was rocking back and forth. We saw the trees swaying side to side and it felt like they were going to snap at any moment," Contreras said.

Elsewhere downtown, crews worked to board up additional windows of skyscrapers from buildings at Ross Avenue and N. Field Street to the Sheraton Dallas on North Olive Street.

The wind also uprooted large trees and impacted traffic signals. The city of Dallas anticipated slow-moving traffic downtown when the work week begins Monday.

In North Dallas, Lynda Marquardt was inside her house when a tree hit it.

"There was lots of hail and rain, and all of a sudden the tree came crashing down to the roof," Marquardt said.

There was insulation visible from the outside -- and trees dotting her North Dallas Street. Carports came down in the Casa Linda area, and a brick barrier outside of a home in East Dallas crumbled. 

But when the sun peeked through the clouds after the rain, Dallas neighbors were outside, ready to help clean up debris.

"Do what we can to make it better. That is all we can do," Dallas resident Dianne Curry said.

NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.

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