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Severe Storms, Flooding, Reported Tornadoes Hit North Texas

A tornado watch was in effect for multiple North Texas counties including Dallas and Tarrant until 2 a.m. Tuesday. A severe thunderstorm watch was also first issued for most of North Texas, including the Metroplex.

(TNS) - Almost all parts of North Texas were affected by a storm late Monday night that brought some areas flooding rains, while others saw severe thunder with hail and the unlucky were hit by reported tornadoes.

A tornado watch was in effect for multiple North Texas counties including Dallas and Tarrant until 2 a.m. Tuesday. A severe thunderstorm watch was also first issued for most of North Texas, including the Metroplex, and soon developed into severe thunderstorm warnings for most of the region by 7:30 p.m. Monday that continued until late into the night.

About an hour later, around 8:30 p.m., areas near Denton County were being hit by 60 mph winds with small hail. Some areas southwest of Denton County, including Justin, reported tennis ball sized hail, according to the National Weather Service Monday night.

Tornado warnings began flooding in as the severe weather began to pick up later into the night, including in northeast Collin, northwestern Hunt, southwestern Fannin, northwest Ellis and northern Johnson counties.

Reports of damage

The National Weather Service is expected to survey potential tornado damage near Celina and Blue Ridge in Collin County, Joshua in Johnson County, Midlothian in Ellis County, Kemp in Kaufman County and Mabank in Van Zandt County, according to KXAS-TV.

Johnson County Emergency Management posted live updates Monday night for residents to follow the storm. It confirmed damage around 11 p.m., but said they “don’t know the extent,” at the time.

Johnson County Emergency Management Director Jamie Moore told the Star-Telegram Tuesday morning that a man was hospitalized after he was tried to help his daughter, who lived on a trailer on his property, and the trailer blew on top of him.

“He had to be extricated from that in some way and transported to the hospital with injuries, but I don’t have an update on his status,” Moore said. “But that was fortunately the only injury that we’re aware of related to high winds or potential tornado hazards for Johnson County.”

The RV flipped several times in the back yard of Shawn Zeleny’s home on FM 917, just east of Joshua and west of Egan, WFAA-TV reported.

Zeleny, 43, was on a stretcher when he spoke with WFAA.

“I’m all right, man,” he told a reporter before he was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

His 17-year-old stepdaughter, Brittaney Deaton, was inside the RV trailer when the storm began to pick up speed, she told WFAA.

“I was going to stay in the trailer for the night; it’s pretty much my home,“ Deaton told the TV station. “I was sleeping, and I woke up scared because it started rocking really bad.“

She tried to go outside, but the stair at the door blocked her way and her stepfather came to her rescue, she told WFAA.

“He threw them out of the way, and I jumped down. But by the time we were trying to get to the house, the trailer had rolled over both him and me,” Deaton said.

Shawn’s wife, Amber Zeleny, told WFAA her husband likely has a broken nose, leg and ribs.

The National Weather Service reported it detected debris from a tornado indicating damage in the area.

Moore said the county was having difficulty assessing the amount of damage “because it’s very long stretches for over 15 miles,” from the east side of the city of Joshua through the Ellis County line.

“A lot of those areas that might have been affected are without power and it’s very hard to see. It’s extremely dark in the rural parts of Johnson County so it’s hard to see exactly what we’re dealing with or the extent of the damage. We do know that we will see a lot of damage,” Moore said around 7 a.m. “Some of it is vegetative damage. We know that we had a lot of roads close for downed trees and we know that cleanup will be ongoing for many days to come. We also know that we had structural damage because we got reports from individuals who are missing roofs.”

Moore said he estimates about a half-dozen residents called 9-1-1 Monday night who reported their roofs were blown off.

The county is working on setting up a shelter in Alvarado although no one has directly requested assistance.

“That’s our priority,” Moore said, adding that his team is in contact with resources like the Red Cross.

Lightning during the storm also sparked a large fire at a pallet storage facility in Alvarado.

Alvarado Fire Captain Brad Hargrove told KXAS-TV crews had to take cover from the tornado as they battled the blaze in the 2400 block of Luisa Lane, but no one was hurt.

“We look up and it’s coming right over the top of us,” Hargrove told KXAS. “We did see it. The debris field was hitting our apparatus, and I made the command to make sure all of our staff retreated into their apparatus and we rode it out on the scene.”

The fire, fueled by the wooden pallets, may contain to burn for several days but wasn’t threatening other structures, firefighters told the NBC station.

As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, Oncor reported about 19,000 residents without power.

There were also multiple reports of flooding in Dallas suburbs.

WFAA-TV Reporter Susanne Brunner said a man had to be rescued from the top of his car in a flooded softball field in McKinney.

Tuesday forecast

Weather is expected to be hot and dry Tuesday as skies will clear out during the morning.

“Highs will soar into the upper 80s & low 90s, about 10-15 degrees above normal for early April,” the National Weather Service said. “Elevated fire weather concerns return across parts of Central TX due to breezy southwest winds & low humidity.”

This story was originally published April 5, 2022, 7:38 AM.


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