Tarrant County

North Texas Emergency Crews Tracking Potential Severe Weather Thursday

Severe weather Thursday could include hail, high winds, and tornadoes

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Emergency crews around North Texas are keeping a close watch on a powerful storm system that will make severe storms a possibility Thursday.

The system moving in from California could potentially bring hail, high winds, and tornadoes. Unlike winter weather, TxDOT spokesperson Kenna Mitchell said there isn’t anything crews can do to treat roads.

Prevention and preparation are mostly on drivers, Mitchell said.

“Now is the time to make sure your wipers are working. Make sure you have gas in your car if you are going to be traveling, because if the system does cause any flooding-type issues in North Texas, that might mean you have to detour around a little bit,” she said.

Mitchell recommended people stay weather aware and updated on forecasts.

“If the storm is hitting maybe during a normal commuting time for them, they really want to make sure they are taking every precaution. Maybe delaying travel plans, or even canceling if it’s going to be the height of the storm,” she said.

Lynn Self, program manager for Tarrant County’s Courtesy Patrol, said Thursday could be a potentially busy day for his team. 23 members are part of the patrol, which runs 365 days a year.

“Our job is to keep traffic moving. Wherever you see congestion, you’re going to more than likely see our employees show up there to try and resolve problems,” Self said.

They are able to help drivers who may be stranded, he said. While this resource is available rain or shine, Self said it can be especially during severe weather.

“It’s important that they have everything, but some folks don’t. If they’re stranded out there, they can always get a hold of our dispatch or call 911, or our non-emergency number. We can get a truck to them, assess their needs and get them taken care of,” he said.

He is urging people to drive slower Thursday and be prepared for areas with high water.

“Motorists just need to be alert that the water is going to cause a lot of runoff. Drainage systems on our highways out there may or not be able to take the capacity of the water,” he said.

Reyne Telles, Chief Communications Officer for the city of Fort Worth, said the city is in constant communication with the National Weather Service. They will consider whether or not to activate the city’s Emergency Operations Center.

Activation is on a case-by-case basis, according to Telles.

“On a large scale operation, you may have everyone from transportation and public works, police, fire. Occasionally, library or some sheltering. Things of that sort, we make those determinations as they approach,” he said.

Telles also recommended residents sign up for Fort Worth Texas Alerts. It offers texts, phone calls, emails, or a combination of all three.

The system replaced the NIXLE system. If residents were previously registered for NIXLE alerts, they will need to register for this system in order to receive emergency notifications.

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