North Texans continue cleanup as more severe weather looms

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Crews in North Texas continue to clean up the damage left behind by at least two tornadoes and major flooding as they prepare for more potential severe weather Wednesday afternoon.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been extended to include the metroplex until 1 a.m. Thursday.

Isolated storms Wednesday will be capable of producing up to tennis ball-sized hail and strong winds up to 70 miles per hour. There is also a chance for tornadoes. 

The majority of North Texas is under a Flash Flood Watch until 7 p.m. Thursday, including Dallas, Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties. The heavy rainfall could lead to localized flooding and flash flooding.


Texas Governor Greg Abbott has deployed resources to North Texas as severe weather is expected to continue hitting the Metroplex through Friday.

The governor is having swift water rescue teams stage across North Texas to help with possible flash flooding. Helicopters, buses and boats are on standby while the metroplex remains under the Flash Flood Watch.

The National Weather Service confirmed two EF-1 tornadoes touched down in North Texas during Tuesday's storms.

READ MORE: Damage in Tarrant, Denton County after Tuesday's severe storms

One tornado touched down in the Justin area and another near the Texas Woman’s University campus in Denton. The 90 mile-an-hour winds left behind plenty of damage.

Denton city crews, home and business owners have spent the day picking up debris and checking out the damage done by Tuesday’s storms. The assessment had to be done quickly in the northeast part of the city before the next round of weather sweeps through.

Extra crews were called in to clear Denton city streets of trees that were blocking roads. One home even caught fire from a lightning strike.

Debris from a fire caused by a lightning strike is covering much of Troy Bohnert’s house near Lakeview Boulevard and Edwards Road.

Bohnert says he and his family were monitoring the storm Tuesday night when they heard a pop, but didn’t realize anything was wrong.

“And then the neighbor started pounding on the door saying the house was smoking,” Bohnert recalled. “So we got the kids out and the dogs out and had the fire department come and, sure enough, the house was on fire.”

Jeff Bridges found his car crushed under a tree, but it could have been worse.

“That tree just started going straight up,” he recalled. “So I turned out and ran to the hall and was gonna run for the bathroom. I just grabbed the wall and just held on.”

Justin Carter spent the day cleaning up tree damage as well. Carter says he and his family hid in the master bedroom closet as the storm raged outside.

“We heard a big boom,” he said. “Something hit our roof over there and knocked some of the shingles loose.”

The National Weather Service confirmed it was an EF-1 tornado in Denton after surveying the damage.

At the height of the storm, Denton Municipal Electric reported 16 power outages to more than 3,60 customers. The Denton Fire Department responded to 37 calls in just 3.5 hours, including water rescues from stranded motorists.

Despite that, residents say they’re thankful the damage wasn’t worse.

“We got six panels in the backyard that went down. Some of the roof damage and just trees, and that’s about it,” Carter said. “We’re all safe, so that’s what matters.”

For the most part, all major roads in Denton are back open and power has been restored. But the city cautions residents to be weather aware for any upcoming possible storms this week and throughout severe weather season.

In Argyle, Tuesday's storm underscored the longtime problem of flash flooding for residents there.

Now that Argyle's mayor has seen the problem first hand, neighbors hope something will change as they prep for even more rain.

The city’s streets were clear Wednesday, but it was a much different story the day before.

There was a swift-moving current on a residential street in Argyle. Homeowners say flash flooding at Valley View Court has become a frequent frustration.

Flood waters crept inside Savannah King’s Argyle home during Tuesday's storms.

“Yeah, we've got some damage. We're definitely going to have to do some new flooring and get somebody in there to dry out and make sure there’s no mold or water damage,” King said. “We were lucky, but we've got more rain coming. So we're really concerned. We want to make sure that rain doesn't come anywhere near our house."

The repetitive flooding in the Skyline Subdivision is something homeowners have debated with their town officials over.

Argyle Mayor Don Moser was in the middle of Tuesday's flooding in the community. He says he can personally relate to what they're dealing with.

“I've been over there several other times,” he said. “When they brought it to the council, I started going over there every time it rains just to see.”

Homeowners are hoping the mayor's experience will lead to solutions, quickly.

"We've had engineers out there shooting grade and looking at the way the water does flow in that area,” Moser said. “So it's something we've been on top of. We're relying on our engineering firm to give us some type of options.”

The Texas Task Force One has emergency response teams in place from Waco to Hillsboro to Dallas County. One of them is made up of Fort Worth Firefighters.

Six firefighters in teams of three loaded up ahead of the storm.

“This team will be there to assist with anybody that’s caught in high water and swift water,” said Mike Drivhal with the Fort Worth Fire Department. “They’re all trained in dive as well.”

Mike Drivdahl with Fort Worth Fire Department says on any other day they would be on duty at a local station. But on Wednesday, they’re working for Texas Task Force One.

“We just feel it’s really important to be able to lend a hand when we need to,” he said.

Each crew has a small rescue boat along with lighted helmets, life jackets and dry suits. They’re on standby in Dallas County.

Meanwhile, vendors at Trinity Park are tying down the tents a day before Mayfest opens.

Mayfest Executive Director Elizabeth Basham says they’re on weather watch and are staying in close communication with the Office of Emergency Management.

“We have been getting continual updates over the past two days as we’ve been setting up,” she said. “Of course, we have to look at the lightning. We have to look at the wind gusts. Is there a potential of hail coming down.”

And if severe weather hits while thousands of guests are already inside, Basham says they can evacuate the festival grounds within 30 minutes.

Basham says they prepare for weather events all year round to keep the 47-year-old tradition running, no matter what.

“This is not anything that we’re unaccustomed to doing,” she said. “We’re Mayfest, and so we pull up our boots and we're ready to hit the ground running.”

North Texas dries out some this weekend, but the overall weather pattern will likely stay active into next week.


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