Tornado Devastates AP Travel Stop & Shell Station in Texas

A tornado hit Valley View, TX, devastating AP Travel Stop and highlighting severe weather as a major 2024 supply chain risk.

Tornado Devastates AP Travel Stop & Shell Station in Texas

A violent tornado tore through Valley View, Texas, this past weekend, leaving a trail of destruction and heartbreak. The AP Travel Stop & Shell Station was one of the hardest-hit locations.

Situated off Interstate 35 near Lone Oak Road, the station was bustling with activity when the tornado struck, transforming an ordinary day into a scene of chaos and heroism.

The Impact

  • Location: AP Travel Stop & Shell Station, I-35 near Lone Oak Road
  • Fatalities: 7 confirmed, with more expected
  • Injuries: Several, but all survivors inside the station

The tornado hit during severe thunderstorms along the Denton-Cooke county lines. It’s the deadliest tornado in Texas since 2015.

Caught on Camera

Conner Stines, a customer at the AP Travel Stop, captured the terrifying moments on video. In the footage, people can be seen taking cover inside the station as the winds began to rattle the walls. The scene quickly turned chaotic as glass shattered and debris flew inside. A large gust of wind then tore down parts of the station, bringing debris and rain inside.

Truck driver Alexander Rodriguez was among those who sought refuge in the store. “The sheet rock, all the roof came down. It was a crazy moment, crazy experience. One in a lifetime,” Rodriguez recounted. Despite the roof collapsing and parts of the structure falling apart, Rodriguez and others managed to survive the ordeal.

Heroic Efforts Amidst Chaos

Inside the store, there were about 30 to 40 people, including several children. Rodriguez described how they tried to protect the children by placing them in the store’s bathroom. “There were a lot of kids crying. We covered them with what we could find,” he said.

After the tornado passed, the survivors didn't just stay put. Rodriguez and others helped a man who was trapped in his car across the street from the gas station.

The man, along with his wife and their dog, was stuck after debris pinned their car doors shut. “We cranked the door open because it was stuck. He was bleeding. We took him to the ER,” Rodriguez explained.

Outside, the scene was equally grim. Vehicles were thrown into a nearby pasture, and power lines were down, adding to the challenge for emergency responders.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that the supercell persisted through the night and grew in intensity, emphasizing the dangers of nighttime tornadoes.

A Broader Context

Severe weather events like this tornado highlight increasing risks for the logistics industry. Severe weather is a top supply chain risk for 2024. FreightWaves has also warned about the upcoming hurricane season, which NOAA predicts will be the most aggressive on record, with 17-25 named storms and 4-7 major hurricanes.

This severe weather could trigger what FreightWaves calls "carrier revenge." For the past two years, shippers have leveraged low freight rates, but this balance could shift dramatically. If severe weather disrupts supply chains, carriers will gain the upper hand. Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves, notes, "Shippers that assume they will be able to react to changing market conditions may find that carriers lack sympathy."

Sources: Fox 4 News | FreightWaves

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