Texas residents sift through rubble from tornadoes

Associated Press Modified: April 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm •  Published: April 4, 2012
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A twister can hit one spot and continue for miles before touching down again, Moore said. It's difficult to explain why a tornado touches down when it does.

"It can destroy one house and the one across the street is fine. It can go back up for a mile or two and drop back down," Moore said. "That's all the crazy things that can happen with tornadoes."

Randy McKeever and his wife and several of their friends sorted through what was left of their house Wednesday. Their roof was completely gone. The front yard was littered with shingles and pieces of wood. Inside was a jumble of belongings. McKeever, 47, wore work gloves as he tried to find anything that could be salvaged.

"There's a bunch of stuff in there that's not even ours," he said.

Stunning video from Dallas showed big-rig trailers tossed into the air and spiraling like footballs. An entire wing of an Arlington nursing home crumbled. In Lancaster, dozens of young children cowered in the safe room of a day care near a local church. The storm pulled one of the walls back "like you were peeling an orange," day care director Danita Harris said.

The students were moved further indoors and rode out the rest of the storm safely, she said.

"Not one Band-Aid had to be applied," Harris said.

Hundreds of flights into and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field were canceled or diverted elsewhere Tuesday. American Airlines, which operates most flights at the airport, said it canceled more than 400 flights Wednesday after stopping about 800 Tuesday. An airport spokesman said more than 110 planes were damaged by hail.

April is typically the worst month in a tornado season that stretches from March to June, but Tuesday's outburst suggests that "we're on pace to be above normal," said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop.

Gov. Rick Perry plans an aerial tour of the damage on Thursday.

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Associated Press writers Schuyler Dixon in Arlington; Diana Heidgerd, Terry Wallace and David Koenig in Dallas; Betsy Blaney in Lubbock; and Paul Weber in San Antonio contributed to this report.