There are moments from Tuesday night that Rosa Mohammed said she is trying to get out of her mind.
“I thought it was just rain. We saw lightning earlier. I said, well it’s just going to rain. Then it was a gush of wind,” Mohammed recalled. “Then we were in the bottom of everything.”
Mohammed was picking up food at the Burger Box drive-thru in Arlington with her husband and eight-year-old daughter when a tornado touched down. The storm Tuesday night left behind major damage across Arlington. This includes the awning of the drive-thru at the Burger Box along South Cooper, which collapsed on top of two cars that were waiting in line.
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Mohammed said she did her best to console her daughter.
“She was in the backseat and she was so scared, she jumped in the front on my husband. I mean, she was just crying and praying and praying. If you would have heard her, you probably right now would like… try to analyze everything. Like, “God is so mad. Why is he so mad? Why is he so disappointed?” Mohammed recalled. “She kept on saying 'if I die… I want you to know I love you.' I tried to comfort her.”
Eventually, Arlington firefighters were able to rescue those who were trapped. Because of partial structure collapses, firefighters were also called to rescue some people from upper floors at apartment complex buildings.
On Wednesday, a team from the National Weather Service surveyed areas that were considered the hardest hit.
Jennifer Dunn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said they have evidence of EF-2 damage. Wind speeds were around 115 miles per hour at the time of the storm but that is subject to change as they continue surveying, Dunn said.
“When we’re out surveying damage, we’re looking at exactly what was damaged. We have a scale that helps us determine what type of winds might have caused that type of damage,” she explained. “So, we’re looking at what kind of damage occurred to structures. Trees could be another good indicator, also. When we’re looking at structures, we’re looking at… was the roof damaged? What was the degree of that damage, or were there wall collapses?’ Thankfully, we haven’t seen any of that.”
According to Arlington city officials, at least eight buildings sustained serious damages Tuesday night. More than 70 families were displaced due to the damage at the Waterdance Apartments, Mirage Apartments, Colorado Square Apartments and Garden Park Apartments in east Arlington. They have been relocated and assisted by the American Red Cross, according to Lt. Richard Fegan with the Arlington Fire Department.
City officials said three people were transported to local hospitals with minor injuries. They have since been treated and released.
“Given the extent of the storm damage, we are very fortunate that we saw so few injuries,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jonathan Ingols stated in a press release. “Now we are working diligently to help our residents and businesses clean up and recover as quickly as possible.”
Clean up efforts are also underway. Residents are asked to contact the Arlington Action Center at 817-459-6777 to report storm damage.