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End of rain won't be end of flooding, officials advise

A flood warning had parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth region in its grip Tuesday morning as thunderstorms dumped more than 4 inches of rain on much of the area, causing headaches for morning commuters and flight cancellations at DFW Airport.

The rain, which covered much of Dallas-Fort Worth by early Monday evening, continued into Tuesday morning. The storms cleared area skies by late morning.

Just before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth issued a flood warning in effect until 9:15 a.m. for Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties. A flood warning for the Trinity River in Grand Prairie remained in effect. A flash flood watch, originally scheduled to be in effect through 7 p.m., was canceled shortly before noon.

"The rains will stop but the threat of flooding will continue," meteorologist Steve Fano said Tuesday morning.

Many North Texans had seen it rain in 15 consecutive hours, the weather service reported.

Rainfall since the storms reached DFW Airport early Monday evening was 4.04 inches through late Tuesday morning. Wind gusts reaching nearly 50 mph were recorded at the airport Monday afternoon.

American Airlines and American Eagle had to cancel 192 arrivals and departures from the Dallas//Fort Worth Airport Tuesday morning because of thunderstorms and lightning, officials said.

Airport ramps were closed for about 4 hours because of lightning.

"The presence of lightning over DFW has forced some of the airline ramps to close for a time, which is a main cause for the delays," said airport spokesman David Magana in a news release. "As always, safety is a top priority with the airport and its partner airlines, and lightning can be a threat to ramp workers."

Airport police reported that Mid-Cities Boulevard has been closed Tuesday between Texas 360 and West Airfield Drive because of high water.

Broadcast reports had numerous flooding problems affecting the morning commute on Dallas-Fort Worth freeways, including a slowdown on northbound Interstate 35W near Meacham Boulevard in Fort Worth.

Southlake had three lightning strikes to homes overnight, but no fires were reported. At 6:40 a.m. Tuesday, a tree fell because of saturated grounds -- taking down some power lines in the 2300 block of Lonesome Dove Ave. The road was closed briefly between Emerald Circle to Palo Duro Trail. The road is now open and crews are working to restore power at this time.

In Johnson County, authorities reported two high-water rescues. Mansfield firefighters conducted a rescue at Cordes and Howell. Another rescue was at W. Bethesda between Tarver and County Road 806. High water was reported at County Road 1112; County Road 915 and Highland; 700 block of Sarah Lane; County Road 613; County Road 213 and water was close to houses near 400 block of County Road 904.

The weather service forecast calls for the chance of rain to decrease throughout the day.

Thunderstorms and high winds knocked out power to thousands of electric customers, and several house fires were likely started by lightning Monday evening, officials said.

Just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, electricity provider Oncor reported about 11,500 customers without power in Dallas-Fort Worth.

The number of power outages fluctuated Monday, with more than 17,000 customers in DFW without power as of 9 p.m., an Oncor spokeswoman said. At 7:14 a.m. Tuesday, Oncor reported about 4,800 customers without power in Dallas-Fort Worth. The outages were caused by tree limbs hitting power lines and wind knocking down lines.

Meteorologist Mark Fox said high wind took a toll on foliage.

"A lot of trees that were damaged by the drought were blown down by winds," Fox said. "We had trees falling everywhere."

A fast-moving cold front reached the area Monday afternoon and collided with warm, moist air, creating a line of thunderstorms, Fox said.

The line of storms brought heavy rain, lightning, strong winds and hail. Quarter-size hail was reported in Parker and Wise counties.

High wind caused a metal awning to collapse at the Mayflower Plaza shopping center in the 700 block of Grapevine Highway in Hurst, damaging four cars, according to Ashleigh Whiteman, a Hurst spokeswoman.

"We heard the wind got up to 50 to 60 mph," Whiteman said.

No one was injured, but several businesses were affected, including Bacon’s Bistro & Cafe, a dry cleaner, a nail salon, a hair salon and a postal business.

Jim DePue, a financial adviser for Edward Jones, said he was at lunch when the 80-foot awning collapsed about 12:45 p.m. in front of his business.

"It’s very fortunate no one was hurt," he said.

DePue said his business will remain closed until the structural integrity of the building can be assessed. He plans to conduct business via cellphone, he said.

Fort Worth Fire Capt. Tom Crow said at least four house fires Monday evening could have been caused by lightning. The fires were on Ranger Way, Smokethorn Drive, Williams Place and Saddle Blanket Court.

Lightning hit a tanker truck in Grayson County Monday evening just west of Sherman, forecasters said Tuesday.

There’s a slight chance of rain Wednesday, but the rest of the week should be dry with sunny skies. Forecasters are calling for clear skies and temperatures in the 70s in time for the weekend.

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