Dallas Tornado Damage: 150,000 People Left Without Power as Twister Tears Apart Homes and Schools

A tornado has left people displaced after it damaged several structures in Dallas, Texas overnight—including homes, schools and power lines.

Emergency service staff have begun a search and rescue operation for residents stuck in the area, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported after the local weather service visually confirmed a tornado in the northeast Dallas area late last night.

The Mayor of Dallas Eric Johnson said the city was "preparing to open Bachman Recreation Center" for people seeking shelter in the aftermath of the Texas storm, later adding that the Red Cross would be on site.

Jason Whitely, a senior reporter at local station WFAA-TV Channel 8, shared before and after pictures of one devastated home in the North Dallas region.

Fellow WFAA journalist Lauren Zakalik posted a photograph of a torn down home in Preston Hollow, Dallas. She claimed that the neighborhood was "unrecognizable."

The Dallas Independent School District also said some of its campuses had "sustained extensive damage" and announced that Monday classes at six schools would be cancelled.

An spokesperson for Texas power company Oncor told Newsweek that almost 150,000 people were left without power, with 100,000 of those in the Dallas area and surrounding counties. It could not yet confirm the exact number of downed power lines.

Local residents were told not to approach any downed power lines by the City of Dallas, which added that they should "call 911 immediately" if they saw a fallen power line sparking.

A video of the tornado ripping its way through Dallas last night was shared by National Center for Atmospheric Research meteorologist Dakota Smith.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth issued a tornado warning for the Texas cities of McKinney and Allen as well as the town of Fairview this morning, noting that more than 200,000 people could potentially be exposed to the tornado.

"A line of severe storms containing damaging winds 60-70 mph continue moving E at 50 mph," NWS Fort Worth said in another tweet this morning. "Small hail and frequent lightning also will pose hazards outdoors with this line of storms."

A tornado watch alert issued by the Storm Prediction Center on Google said the warning covered 23 counties in Texas, stretching from Mason County in the south west of the state to the city of Paris in the northeast.

The alert also advised locals to "watch out for dark, rotating clouds" and take shelter in the nearest building should a tornado cross their path.

The NWS Forth Worth also posted a severe thunderstorm warning on Twitter this morning, warning of wind speeds that could reach up to 60mph and "penny sized" hail in the Dallas area.

It said more than three million people, almost 900 schools and 56 hospitals in the region could potentially be exposed to the storm, noting that its warning was valid until 2:15 a.m. Monday.