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Downed power lines leave some North Texans in the cold

Residents of about 200 North Texas households awoke Wednesday to frigid homes after fierce winds toppled power lines in their neighborhoods, according to reports.

Temperatures outside were in the mid 20s early Wednesday, and conditions were right late Tuesday to bring a dusting of snow to south Dallas and areas further south, according to the National Weather Service.

As many as 1,200 customers lost power late Tuesday, said Catherine Cuellar, spokeswoman for Oncor Electric Delivery.

Wind speeds reached 46 mph in Dallas Tuesday night, said Dan Huckaby, a weather service meteorologist.

"It's certainly not out of the question that we could have had gusts up to 50 mph," he said.

Repair crews kept working Wednesday, Cuellar said, and another update was expected later in the morning.

Skies were expected to be sunny on Wednesday, but weather service forecasters didn't think temperatures would leave the low 40s.

Daytime highs, however, will gradually warm during the next few days to the low 70s on Sunday, but then it gets cold all over again with the arrival of a new cold front early next week.

The latest reports capped two days of severe weather, including two tornadoes and straight-line winds late Monday in Grayson County, where 50 homes were severely damaged or destroyed.

Weather service forecasters originally thought that Tuesday night's snow would have fallen northwest of the Metroplex, but it came much farther to the south.

Nick Hampshire, a weather service meteorologist, explained that an upper-level low-pressure system unexpectedly moved well below the Metroplex.

"There was snow in Dallas -- a trace," Hampshire said. "Some stuck on cars and metal objects, but that's about it. There was no accumulations on grass or the road."

A Dallas County Sheriff's deputy lost control of his patrol car Tuesday night while trying to merge onto Interstate 30 from Carroll Avenue northwest of Fair Park in east Dallas, according to reports.

The patrol car spun on a patch of ice and collided with a pickup, said Kim Leach, a sheriff's spokeswoman. The deputy and the driver of the truck were not severely hurt, Leach said.

Light sleet or snow remained in the forecast Wednesday morning throughout much of East Texas, the weather service said.

Light accumulations of snow were possible on grass and elevated surfaces, but no significant disruptions to travel were expected, the weather service said.

Meanwhile, Grayson County residents, with help from the American Red Cross, continued the tasks of clean up and recovery.

The storm that moved through Denison Monday night uprooted trees, blew out car windows and destroyed a shuttered bowling alley. It also knocked over tractor trailers at Champion Cooler Corp., an Arkansas-based business that manufactures evaporative coolers for homes and businesses.

Survey teams from the National Weather Service offices in Fort Worth believe two probable tornadoes tore through the area near Southmayd and Denison.

Damage found in Denison indicated that winds churned by an EF1 tornado possibly reached between 86 mph to 110 mph were possible, weather service officials said.

A similar tornado, they said, appeared to strike in Southmayd, about 13 miles southwest of Denison. It stayed on the ground for 2½ miles, tore a path 200 yards wide and may have had winds between 86 mph and 95 mph, the weather officials said.

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