(KXAN) - Tornadoes smashed into the Dallas-Fort Worth area on Tuesday afternoon tossing massive 18-wheelers into the air like toys while causing widespread damage in several communities across the heavily populated region.
Storms hammered several neighborhoods in Arlington, right between Dallas and Fort Worth. At the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium, workers huddled in the tunnels and at major shopping centers, workers and customers retreated to the buildings' lowest levels, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Winds slammed into the Green Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center near Lake Arlington , displacing about 130 residents of the facility, The Associated Press reported. Workers moved residents form the wings to the protected central part of the home but two people had to be taken to the hospital.
Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck was quick to declare his city a disaster home, which is a key step in obtaining federal assistance.
No deaths were reported by 6 p.m.
Closer to home, the dangerous weather to the north interrupted flight schedules at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport , causing delays for passengers bound for D-FW where numerous flights are canceled or delayed. As of 6:15 p.m., ABIA officials said that all of the passenger diversions at ABIA left for Dallas before 6 p.m. The update on canceled flights was roughly 20 with numerous delays. Officials advise travelers to check their flights' statuses before heading to the airport.
Around 5:30 p.m., rain and thunder reached Downtown Austin and parts north of the city.
Two counties, Milam and Lampasas, are on the southern edge of the Tornado Watch that is in effect until 8 p.m. and all of the KXAN viewing area is under a "slight risk" for severe storm through the evening hours.
"The First Warning Weather team is closely monitoring potential southward development of this line of severe storms this afternoon," said KXAN Chief Weather Forecaster Jim Spencer. "It is a possible that storms may intensify along a Pacific cold front that extends south into the Hill Country, including Lampasas, Llano, and Gillespie counties.
"Areas east of this front are susceptible to severe storms and possible tornadoes this afternoon and evening."
Spencer said during late in the afternoon that the line of storms from D-FW descended along the Interstate 35 corridor and had weakened by the time they reached Williamson County. However, he added, that cells were forming around the Loop 360 corridor in western Travis County and that storms could quickly become severe.
"We have to pay very, very close attention," Spencer told viewers at 5 p.m.
Additional severe thunderstorm or tornado watches may be issued for more of the KXAN viewing area this afternoon, depending on the southward development of storms.
By late afternoon, the National Weather Service confirmed that two "large and extremely dangerous" had descended upon the area that more were likely on the way.
The twisters ripped roofs from upset countless parked cars.
Highway cameras showed a funnel cloud on the ground, not far from a major interstate.
Television footage showed a funnel cloud on the ground near Interstate 35 south of Dallas. The weather service said the tornado was near Lancaster and moving north. By mid-afternoon, more than 43,000 electricity customers were without power because of the storms, electric providers said.
The state Office of Emergency Operations had set up at the Gonzales Convention Center. The emergency level was elevated to Level 2.
Meanwhile, the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the American Red Cross was looking for additional volunteers .
State emergency management officials were at a conference in San Antonio got some unexpected real-life experience once the tornadoes hit Dallas, and the site became the state activation site .
The tornadoes sent numerous North Texas parents to scrambling to make sure their children were safe. News outlets in the Dallas reported that cars began lining up around local schools by mid-afternoon to pick up their kids.
According to WOAI, Love Field spokesman Jose Luis Torres says the airport didn't suffer any damage.
This report contains information from The Associated Press.
More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside of a vehicle which lost control during the icy conditions, DPS said.
Travis County non-profit Center for Child Protection will benefit next March from an all day fundraiser at the Circuit of the Americas that will see plenty of donors racing on the track.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.