FORT WORTH, Texas - Storms that popped up in North Texas early Thursday brought strong winds, lightning and hail as big as golf balls.
The severe weather started in the early morning hours and around 6 a.m. when Tornado Warning was issued for Parker County. There was some rotation in the clouds and residents were asked to seek shelter, but a tornado didn’t touched down.
Residents in Fort Worth and the surrounding areas woke up to the sounds of large hail coming down. Viewers submitted photos of their yards and roads seemingly covered in snow because of all the hail. And, FOX 4's traffic reporter Chip Waggoner said the cars along I-20 were stopping on the road as the core passed over.
At the Fort Worth Police Department’s West Division headquarters wind knocked over fencing near where police cars were parked and damaged the roof. The building essentially flooded and some records were soaked.
About 50 people are assigned to the West Division, including property crimes, criminal investigations, special response team and neighborhood patrol officers. Fort Worth police say detectives arrived quickly and saved important paperwork. Case files are in digital storage so those aren't affected.
Everyone at West Division will have to work somewhere else while repairs are made.
Hail also busted the windshields of ambulances at the nearby MedStar Ambulance headquarters. They will be out of commission until repairs can be made, but the company does have other vehicles to balance the load.
“Thankfully we have a reserve built into our fleet so our typical peek staffing is about 43 ambulances but we own 55. We’re able to replace them pretty quickly with our reserve fleet,” said Matt Zavadsky with MedStar Ambulance.
FOX 4’s Shannon Murray talked to workers in Benbrook on Camp Bowie Boulevard and Cherry Street. Strong winds ripped through the area and sent debris flying, causing significant damage.
“Disaster, period. Completely disaster. I never saw something like that in my life and I’ve been in this area for 34 years.” said Pedro Roa, owner of New Horizons Realtors.
“When I pulled into my driveway here my whole back side was just demolished. So I went inside and my whole back room was just all flooded out,” added Lena Piano, an employee at Fiesta Supermarket.
Lightning may have sparked one house fire in the 2800 block of Petersburg Drive near Vandergriff Park in south Arlington. A neighbor said there was a huge lightning strike during the storm shortly before the fire started. Fortunately no one was injured.
At one point on Thursday morning, Oncor reported nearly 19,000 homes and businesses mostly in Tarrant County without power.
Friday morning through Friday night has a 50 percent chance of showers. A strong cold front blows in with gusty north winds and falling temps into the 40's.
Then, Saturday will be windy and chilly as clouds slowly break up in the evening. Highs struggle and stay in the 50s. By Sunday morning, it's in the 30's for most areas and a slight risk does exist in the western counties for some frost. We'll rebound to near 60 with sun.
Next week warms back up with more gusty winds and temps near 80 by mid-week, with shower and storm chances rising late week!
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