Tornadoes reported in N. Texas storms

April 10, 2008 8:52:41 AM PDT
An apparent tornado packing winds of up to 70 mph moved through North Texas early Thursday, tearing shingles from roofs, shattering glass and flipping over vehicles. Paramedics were dispatched throughout the city, but San Angelo police didn't have a number of injured.

The storm pelted the city with quarter-sized hail just after midnight and included winds of 50 to 70 miles mph, said Hector Guerrero, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Angelo.

The National Weather Service received reports of cars and a tractor trailer flipped over. At least one building downtown was damaged and power lines were down in some areas, Guerrero said.

Shortly after, the storm system moved out of the area, Guerrero said.

Roof shingles littered one parking lot and glass from a building's shattered window was on the ground after the storm passed.

Hours earlier, two apparent tornados also moved through another section of West Texas, sending three people to a hospital, destroying hangars and other buildings at a town's airport and knocking out power.

National Weather Service staff planned to survey the areas later Thursday to confirm if tornados touched down.

Police in the Stephens County city of Breckenridge said they have reports of a few minor injuries, but didn't have a full count by Wednesday night. Robbie Dewberry, administrator at Stephens Memorial Hospital, said the three were being treated in the hospital emergency room.

The hospital was on emergency backup power. No damage was reported at the facility, Dewberry said.

Power lines were down and at least five homes were destroyed in Breckenridge, police said.

Crews with Oncor Electric Delivery were surveying the extent of the damage. Transmission feeds going into the city sustained extensive damage, leaving an estimated 3,500 customers without power, said Oncor spokesman Neal Blanton.

Dallas-Fort Worth television KTVT showed aerial footage of damage at the small airport in the town about 100 miles west of Fort Worth. A twin-engine plane sat amid the crumpled sheet metal that had been a hangar.

A tractor-trailer, trees and utility poles also were blown over near Breckenridge in the Wednesday spring storm system that apparently produced a few tornadoes as it moved across West and North Texas, weather officials said. Several outbuildings and roofs also were ripped off, but officials could not immediately confirm that any of the damage was caused by a tornado, said Jessica Schultz of the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Another tornado apparently touched down in Palo Pinto County between Graford and Oran, said Jennifer Dunn, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Officials reported roofs were blown off a few homes and trees were down in Oran.

The storm moved north of the Dallas-Fort Worth area Wednesday night.

But the possibility of another set of strong thunderstorms bringing damaging winds and hail lingered for parts of North Texas on Thursday, Dunn said.

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