Severe thunderstorm warning lifted in much of North Texas

Posted Tuesday, May. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A line of thunderstorms brought isolated wind gusts higher than 60 mph Tuesday afternoon and grounded airplanes at DFW Airport for a while, but did not produce the tornadoes as feared as it moved through North Texas.

At 3:45 p.m., the severe weather threat had passed for these counties: Tarrant, Parker, Hood, Somervell and Grayson, said Jennifer Dunn, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

At 2:30 p.m, Oncor reported that 6,500 customers did not have power and expected those numbers to climb.

The strongest wind gusts reported were 69 mph in Garland and 68 mph in McKinney.

The ground stop at DFW Airport was in place until at least 3 p.m. The FAA was also holding planes headed to DFW “at their originating airports,” according to a DFW Airport tweet.

A tornado watch remained in place for North Texas until 7 p.m. but the greatest threat appeared to be southeast of the DFW area.

“There is still a chance of isolated tornadoes east and southeast of Dallas, but the severe threat is over in Tarrant County and back to the west,” said Steve Fano, another weather service meteorologist.

Earlier, the threat of storms caused some schools to send students home early.

In Cleburne, which was hit hard by a tornado last week, school officials said students would be sent home at 9:45 a.m. Also, some schools in the Catholic Dioceses of Fort Worth and Dallas were dismissing early.

“As a precaution to reports of severe weather late Tuesday morning through the afternoon, Cleburne ISD has set a 9:45 a.m. early dismissal time,” said a statement on the district’s website. “...The students whose parents have not been reached will be kept safe at their campuses under the supervision of school employees until a parent can pick them up. A second round of transportation will be provided to any remaining bus students after weather threat has passed.”

Anyone living in this tornado-prone area is well-advised to plan ahead for weather emergencies.

The website knowwhat2do.com offers suggestions about where to take shelter in your home, such as a basement or interior closet.

The city of Fort Worth and a number of other area cities participate in an alert notification system, www.nixle.com, that sends alerts to mobile phones. You can also register by texting 888777 and entering your ZIP code. Fort Worth also has an alert notification program for residents with visual or hearing impairments.

Staff writers Bill Miller and Bill Hanna contributed to this report, which includes information from The Associated Press.

Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698 Twitter: @fwhanna

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