Widespread damage in TX Spring storms

Residents weary of weekly storms that have hit their communities

BY BOND BRUNGARD | DALLAS | April 24, 2008

"Its unusual to have (storm damage) as widespread as it was last week and this week"

—Brian Fine, Hood County, TX

About 15,000 homes and businesses were left without power Wednesday night in Dallas and Fort Worth after powerful storms came through the area.

The storms, which brought hail and lightening, also damaged about 20 homes in Crowley, in southern Tarrant County.

“Damage assessments are still underway,” said Marty Nerren, chairman of Dallas County VOAD and director of emergency planning and branch operations for the Dallas Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Nerren said this area has been in hit in consecutive weeks, usually on Wednesdays or Thursdays, by similar storms, typical for this time of the year when warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico collides with cool air reaching down from the Rocky Mountains.

Last week, softball-size hail bombarded Parker and Palo Pinto counties, west of Dallas and Ft. Worth, shattering windshields and breaking tree limbs.

“(Parker and Palo Pinto counties) have been hammered during the last three weeks,” he said.

In Palo Pinto County, there was some flash flooding reported there from the storms Wednesday. Flooding was reported in Denton and Tarrant counties.

Lipan sits in parts of Parker, Palo Pinto and Erath counties and the formation of a tornado was spotted near there.

“We had reports of rotation but not a touchdown,” said Brian Fine, deputy fire marshal and assistant emergency management coordinator in Hood County, southeast of Lipan.

In Hood County, a fire station was damaged by strong winds near Oak Trail Shores, and another home was damaged by a possible lightening strike.

“For the most part, its power lines and trees,” said Fine.

Spring storms that bring hail, strong winds, such as those measured as fast as 60-70 miles an hour that raced through the region, and heavy rains, are not unusual in North Texas.

“It’s unusual to have it as widespread as it was last week and this week,” said Fine.

In Burleson, near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, eight inches of rain fell on State Route 174 within 15-20 minutes, and Dallas had about an inch of rain within the same time frame.

And more than 50 flights were either cancelled or delayed at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport due to the violent weather.

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