Customers Run for Their Lives as EF-3 Tornado Strikes - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Customers Run for Their Lives as EF-3 Tornado Strikes

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    Customers Run for Their Lives as EF-3 Tornado Strikes

    Customers ran for their lives as an EF-3 tornado struck a store in northwest Dallas. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019)

    Cellphone video captured the chaos as an EF-3 tornado struck the El Rancho Market on Marsh Lane.

    Customers bolted the back when doors and windows blew out.

    Kenys Ramos was with his wife and 2-year-old daughter.

    Tuesday, he returned for the first time to find his new car damaged from bumper to bumper.

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    "It was terrible being there with his family," Ramos said in Spanish.

    At DD's Discounts next door, metal scraps look like spaghetti strands hanging from the ceiling.

    Managers say four employees were hospitalized with injuries.

    Nearby, the Emanuel Christian Church is almost unrecognizable.

    The pastor says more than 100 people left service minutes before the tornado hit.

    Then there are countless business owners like Dr. Thao Bui, a dentist who achieved her dream of opening her own practice last year.

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    The tornado damaged her business and threatened her livelihood.

    "It hit really bad but I'm starting not [at] square one but even more work than before," Dr. Bui said.

    Evidence of the storm's strength is everywhere from destroyed stores, overturned trucks and damaged homes.

    "I could hear the windows cracking I could hear the walls caving in," said Natasha Porras.

    Her father has owned a home near Marsh and Walnut Hill Lanes for 35 years. She says they hunkered down during the tornado.

    Much of the roof and walls are gone.

    Porras salvaged some of the items for her wedding that's scheduled for Saturday.

    "The church is in good shape, but the grid is knocked out. There's no power," she said.

    The Porras family says they plan to stay in their home to protect it from any potential looting.

    Dallas police are stepping up patrols in the area. A voluntary curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. remains in effect through Thursday.

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