ANABELLE GARAY, an Associated Press Writer, made this report (© 2008 The Associated Press):
DALLAS — A series of storms packing strong winds and heavy rains hit North Texas on Tuesday, grounding hundreds of flights, forcing an airport control tower to evacuate briefly and sending floodwaters spilling into Dallas-area streets. Winds of more than 100 mph briefly were reported at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where lightning struck a ramp earlier Tuesday. Airport officials said the strongest winds occurred in microbursts and caused no damage. More than half of the 950 flights for all airlines scheduled to depart DFW on Tuesday were canceled, airport officials said. More than 100 incoming flights were diverted.
“This is one of the most vicious thunderstorms DFW has seen in quite some time, especially its ongoing intensity,” said airport spokesman Ken Capps. “We know it can be frustrating for passengers, but everyone’s top priority is their safety.”
It’s unclear how many travelers were affected by the cancellations, but airport officials estimate about 160,000 passengers pass through DFW each day.
Federal Aviation Administration officials evacuated DFW’s west tower for about 15 minutes after seeing a funnel cloud over a highway. A funnel cloud was also spotted over Lake Lewisville, just north of the airport.
South Dallas had around 4 1/2 to 5 inches of rain by late afternoon, said Ted Ryan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
I was on one of those “100 incoming flights” that was diverted away from the dangerous storms that struck the Dallas/Fort Worth area today. American Airlines flight 343 out of Richmond, Virginia, ended up going to Houston instead of Dallas, and we – the passengers and me – stayed in Houston for six hours before finally arriving at our intended destination. I missed my connecting flight.
Being safe was a lot more important than being on time today. For me, I think I had my priorities straight in my own mind. And while sleeping on a cot in DFW International is not as comfortable as my own bed, I’
d much rather be on a cot than in a body bag. Perspective.
There were a few boneheads complaining about the weather, and cancelled flights … but very, very few. Most of the people (99.99%) that ended up at DFW this evening didn’t make life miserable for themselves and others. And I’
m choosing not to focus on that .01% that make you scratch your head and wonder where they were when common sense was being handed out.
As I lay my head down tonight in Terminal D – DFW, I’m reminded of this Psalm:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” …
He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91, NIV, selected verses)
Thank You, God, for protecting me today.