Ottawa soccer teams play on after Texas tornadoes
Players in tournaments in Dallas-Fort Worth area take refuge in shopping mall, hotel
Two Ottawa soccer teams in Texas for soccer tournaments continued playing today after finding shelter while tornadoes touched down around them in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The U.S. National Weather Service said as many as a dozen twisters touched down in a wrecking-ball swath of violent weather that stretched across .
Despite the intensity of the slow-moving storms, as of early Wednesday, no deaths or serious injuries were reported, though there were several less serious injuries.
The Ottawa South United under-17 boys team of 15 players took the field for a game at 12 p.m. CT. The girls under-15 team are also scheduled to resume play.
The boys' coach, Mahut Adulovic, spoke to the CBC's Ashley Burke over the phone from his hotel room before the game.
He said one group, including him and seven of his players, was about to visit Cowboy Stadium, home to the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys, when the storms hit.
"We just see a huge black cloud coming very fast towards us and, to be honest, it was very scary," Adulovic said. "We didn't know how to act."
The group quickly rushed back into the hotel and the tornadoes passed.
Players tour tornado area
The City of Ottawa's deputy manager of operations tweeted late Tuesday his 17-year-old son, who was playing in a Dallas-area soccer tournament, was safe along with the rest of the Ottawa South United soccer team and the girls' team.
Steve Kanellakos told CBC News he reached his son by phone last night and he told him everyone was safe.
Several players were touring the city an hour after a tornado touched down and took refuge inside a shopping mall.
"Your mind starts racing through every single scenario," Kanellakos said. "To see the havoc it was creating, and so your thinking is, 'Is he in a building that has been damaged there? Is he in a car that has been damaged?'
"It was an amazing thing, just in this helpless state full of anxiety until you hear back. That phone call, it just becomes everything."
Tornadoes damage homes, toss tractor-trailers
The exact number of tornadoes Tuesday will not be known until surveyors fan across North Texas, looking for clues among the debris that blanketed yards and peeled off slats of rooftops.
The Red Cross put a preliminary estimate of damaged homes at 650. In the southern Dallas suburb of Lancaster, where damage was especially widespread, around 150 people remained in a shelter Tuesday night.
The Canadian soccer players were able to sleep in their hotel. For a time, though, the feeling was a nervous and scary one for a father far away from his son, watching the wreckage on TV.
"The intensity of the storm and just the whole atmosphere of the sky and the darkness of the sky, and how hard the rain and the hail was coming down on the cars as they were driving ... I think it just happened, [they were] completely blown away in terms of experiencing something that, normally, you only see on TV," Kanellakos said.