Wild weather hits central USA

Severe thunderstorms are believed to have spawned as many as two tornadoes in North Texas Thursday, while peppering Denton and Collin counties with hail as large as softballs.

All weather warnings issued were allowed to expire at 9 p.m. except for a small tornado warning near eastern Hunt County and western Delta County that expired at 9:15 p.m. The tornado watch across North Texas expired for most of the Metroplex at 9 p.m., though it was extended until 4 a.m. Friday for some of the eastern counties and East Texas.

Two tornadoes were reported to have touched down in the storms — the first was reported at about 7:30 p.m. near Princeton. The second was reported about 10 minutes later in the Collin County town of Farmersville, along state Highway 78, by members of the Farmersville Fire Department.

The Denton County Sheriff's Office and National Weather Service retracted a previous report that the storm spawned a tornado that touched down near Krum. There have been no reports of significant injuries or damage in the area. As the first wave of the storm passed through Denton County, the Denton Municipal Airport recorded gusts of 82 mph; that wind speed is equivalent to an F0 tornado.

No injuries have been reported in connection with the storms. There have been widespread and varying reports of damage including utility poles toppled, tree limbs downed and fences leveled.

There have been reports of homes and roofs being damaged by the storms, including two homes that are "gone" in Hunt County.

With the rain subsiding, the danger now turns to the threat of flash flooding as water collects in streams and creeks. A flash flood warning was issued in Denton County until 9:15 p.m., and in Collin and Hunt counties until 10:45 p.m.

Earlier in the evening NBC 5 storm spotters reported hail ranging in size from quarter-sized to softball-sized, including some that shattered car windows in Denton. The National Weather Service reports hail of 3 1/2-inch diameters and larger fell along U.S. 380 north of downtown Denton around 4 p.m. Denton city spokeswoman Lindsay Baker said reports of broken windows and windshields and other hail damage were widespread. (Photos are available in the slideshows above.)

As of 8:35 p.m., Oncor reports about 3,000 customers without power — 2,650 of those in Tarrant County.


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