A massive EF-4 tornado more than five football fields wide barreled through the cities of Garland and Rowlett in Texas, tearing apart homes and businesses.
In Garland alone, 600 homes were damaged or leveled, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud, and people have begun the painful of assessing what was lost - for some, even their loved ones.
Petra Ruiz was a 27-year-old mother of four. She was on her way home when the tornado tossed her car off Interstate 30. She was among the eight victims who died when their cars went airborne.
Before the tornado hit, she made one last call to her husband, who came rushing to find her.
"She started just screaming. Scream and scream and her phone went blank," said her husband, Ruben Porras in tears. "I grabbed her wrist to see if she had a pulse but she was gone. She was just gone. And then I just started screaming, telling everyone 'I need help my wife is under the car.'"
The Roach family's home was among the 1,400 damaged or destroyed by at least nine tornadoes to hit the area. They hid inside their closet as the tornado struck and could feel their house being lifted off the ground.
"The lights flickered and it just went pitch black," said Dema Roach. "We got down in the closet like literally within seconds of this thing hitting us."
In less than 20 seconds, their home collapsed on top of them. Neighbors heard their screams for help but it took 30 minutes to pull them out of the wreckage. The Roaches suffered minor injuries.
Texas is among the areas hardest hit by the powerful storm system that continues to pound across the country.