North Texas Cleans Up After Strong Storms

Homeowners, businesses and utility crews cleaned up around the Dallas-Fort Worth area Friday after savage thunderstorms with winds of up to 70 mph tore through North Texas, leaving widespread damage in their wake.

The storms Thursday afternoon toppled large trees, tore holes in warehouse roofs and peeled away the front wall of a church. In west Dallas, the wind flipped a semi-truck trailer.

By Friday morning, about 200 homes remained without power in the area, according to Oncor -- a significant improvement on the 34,000 homes reportedly in the dark Thursday afternoon.

Strong winds on Thursday had destroyed a mobile home near Joshua, about 45 miles to the southwest. Johnson County Emergency Management Coordinator Jamie Moore says a mother and child were hurt, but their injuries didn't seem life-threatening.

Hours earlier, emergency workers rescued five teens from a rapidly filling creek in southern Dallas after up to 4 inches of rain flooded the stream.

A neighbor noticed the five teen boys, who had skipped school Thursday, in the Woody Branch Creek Thursday morning. It was unclear if they had been playing in the water or were swept into the creek. All five were taken to a hospital for evaluation.

"They were very lucky to make it out OK," Lt. Robert Brey of the Fire-Rescue swift water team told the Dallas Morning News. "When you have that many who are still alive after being stuck in the water. It is pretty miraculous."

In Dallas, the New Beginning Covenant Ministries church had its brick facade torn off.

Althea Harrington, whose brother is the pastor, told the Dallas Morning News that no one was in the building at the time because they had cancelled the service due to the rain. A storm two years ago had also damaged the church.

"Last time the roof was blown off," Harrington said. "I don't know what we are going to do."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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