Four EF-1 Tornados Touched Down: NWS

By Frank Heinz
|  Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011  |  Updated 11:46 AM CDT
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Meteorologists with the National Weather Service spent Monday assessing the damage and confirming tornadoes touched down after severe storms rolled through North Texas Sunday night and early Monday morning.

Lindsay Wilcox, NBCDFW.com

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service spent Monday assessing the damage and confirming tornadoes touched down after severe storms rolled through North Texas Sunday night and early Monday morning.

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Storm Damages Wildlife Rescue

The Crosstimbers Ranch is repairing habitats damaged after a tornado cut through East Texas.
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The National Weather Service confirmed Monday that at least four tornadoes touched down in North Texas overnight Sunday.

Along with the twisters, Sunday night's thunderstorms brought hail and high winds to North Texas, knocking down trees, breaking windows and damaging roofs while delaying the opening of several school districts.

The storms spawned a weak EF-1 tornado that touched down southwest of the intersection of state Highway 67 and Interstate 35W.

EF-1 tornados have winds between 86 mph and 110 mph, but the Alvarado tornado was believed to only be between 85 mph and 90 mph.

There was also widespread, sporadic straight-line wind damage in the area. About 20 homes in Alvarado, had some kind of damage, said Jack Snow, Johnson County's emergency management coordinator.

The second confirmed tornado touched down north of Rio Vista, near state Highway 174 and County Road 1109A and 1109B. It was also an EF-1, with estimated winds between 100 mph and 110 mph. Five to six homes were damaged significantly in the area.

The third confirmed EF-1 tornado touched down in Kaufman County on the north side of Forney.

The swath was about 100 yards wide with a length of 400-500 yards. The damage from the tornado was nested in straight-line wind damage.

The NWS also confirmed a fourth tornado near the city of Cash in Hunt County. Meteorologists with the NWS said it was also an EF-1.

The Red Cross reported that three homes were destroyed and another 46 suffered damage there.

The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch, a rescue center, was also damaged by the tornado, but no animals were hurt. Valerie Marler said the animals were nervous but otherwise doing well. The center is looking for volunteers to help clean up the storm damage and secure the habitats before newborn rescues arrive.

In Waxahachie, where the roofs of several businesses were blown off, including a hotel, survey crews with the NWS is still investigating. Preliminary indications are of straight-line winds of 80 mph. Waxahachie Fire Battalion Chief John Rodgers said there is "sporadic structural damage all over the city."

In the Collin County town of Prosper, hail broke windows in homes and businesses, said city spokesman Celso Martinez. Matt Mosier, a meteorologist with the NWS, said up to golf ball-sized hail was reported in the Prosper area.

In Seagoville, southeast of Dallas, the damage was widespread, and hail stones accumulated on the ground.

"We're covered up by it," said Lt. Davis of the Seagoville Fire Department. "We've got wrought-iron gates folded up like Coke cans."

The Red Cross mobilized before sunrise and reported just before noon that 95 homes in Denton County have minor damage while another 28 in Kaufman County have minor damage.

In all, the Red Cross said 203 homes were affected by the storm, 15 of which were destroyed or sustained major damage. Another 188 had minor damage.

Only minor injuries were reported in connection with Sunday's storms.

Oncor Electric Delivery reported more than 23,000 customers were still without power on Tuesday. That's down from a high of about 90,000 outages reported in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Oncor said it has brought in additional crews and contractors to help restore power but said the hardest-hit areas could be without power through Wednesday night.

"The severity of this storm has caused widespread damage and outages in North Texas," Oncor's Brenda Pulis said in a news release. "While our crews are working day and night, customers should be ready for extended outages."

NBC DFW's Lindsay Wilcox, Remeisha Shade and Randy McIlwain contributed to this report.


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