The most damaging effects of the front that moved through North Texas Wednesday night were power outages caused by high winds.By 9 p.m. Thursday, about 6,000 customers in the area -- mostly Tarrant and Dallas counties, but including Plano and McKinnney -- remained without power, way down from a 4 a.m. peak of 38,000, Oncor spokeswoman Jeamy Molina said."There have been continuous outages during the day," she said early Thursday. "The wind has been holding steady at around 40 mph, and that's knocking down trees, which are taking down power lines."Most of the outages were east of Texas 360, she said. Outages at Grapevine High School and Cross Timbers Middle School almost affected final exams and early releases, according to district officials.At 8 a.m., the district decided not to postpone exams at Cross Timbers Middle School, but prepared to adjust Grapevine High School's exam schedules.Power was restored to both schools shortly before 9 a.m.The line of windstorms that moved into the Metroplex on Wednesday evening gave the area a good dusting of West Texas dirt. Gusts as high as 66 mph were measured at Dallas Love Field, said Jesse Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.As the storms moved east, they dropped 1-inch hail on Kaufman, southeast of Dallas, and pummeled the city with 65- to 70-mph winds, Moore said."I've not seen any damage reports, other than trees down north of Palestine in Anderson County and around Neches and Elkhart," Moore said. "In Edgewood, in northern Van Zandt County, three homes were damaged, as were two barns and two businesses -- a gas station and a tire store.""Behind all of that wind, there was a lot of dust from West Texas, dropping visibility to 1.5 miles," he said.Temperatures early Friday were expected to drop into the low 20s.Going into the weekend the area will stay dry, but Moore expected "a little warming trend."Clouds will increase Saturday night, but won't bring rain until next week, Moore said. He gave a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain Monday and Tuesday, but zero chance of snow."It looks like the main track of a storm system next week will slide off to our north," he said. "If the pattern changes, there could be cold rain Christmas Eve and Christmas."Staff writer Shirley Jinkins contributed to this report.Terry Evans, 817-390-7620Twitter: @fwstevans
Report power outages
Stay away from downed power lines and call 911 to report them. Report power outages to Oncor at 888-313-4747 or through the storm center on oncor.com.