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Damaging winds, possible tornadoes expected overnight

Commuters who aren’t off for Columbus Day Monday may be dealing with rain on the road in the morning, a spokesperson for the National Weather Service said.

Thunderstorms are expected in two rounds starting with a “quick hit” of hail, heavy rains and thunderstorms between 11 p.m. and midnight Sunday, said Eric Martello, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth.

Then the Metroplex could get a brief reprieve from about 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. Monday. The second round of thunderstorms will hit from 4 to 6 a.m., with winds up to 60-75 mph, the potential for golf ball-sized hail and the possibility of one or two tornadoes in the Metroplex, said Jennifer Dunn, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth.

The storms will come with damaging winds similar to those that ripped through the Metroplex more than a week ago and left up to 300,000 people without power.

“It’s a good idea to secure and protect anything before you go to bed,” she said.

Items such as trash cans and outdoor chairs should be secured, and if possible cover or enclose vehicles by 3 a.m. to be on the safe side, she said.

“We could see up to an inch of rain through the overnight hours,” Dunn said. “People in the early morning commute may have to deal with that.”

The rain should end between 6 and 8 a.m., when it is expected to leave the Dallas-Fort Worth area and head northeast.

Drivers on their way to work around 7 or 8 a.m. could also face street flooding, depending on how much rain hits, Dunn said.

The National Weather Service also issued a wind advisory for the Fort Worth area starting at noon Monday and ending at 7 p.m.

Sustained 20-30 mph winds could gust up to 40 mph at some point Monday afternoon, making difficult driving for motorists who have lightweight cars. A boating trip on area lakes may also be difficult, Dunn said.

Electric outages can be reported through the Text Oncor Program, said Justin Ozuna, an Oncor spokesman. Text “Reg” to 66267 to report a power outage and get updates on when power will be restored. Customers can also call Oncor at 1-888-313-4747.

Storm preparation tips

Prepare a storm safety kit that includes a flashlight, battery-powered or crank radio, water, a first-aid kit and extra batteries.

Protect appliances and electronics by installing surge protectors or unplugging valuable electronics.

Identify a shelter area like a closet or bathroom. If a building or vehicle isn’t available, find a low-lying open space away from trees, poles and metal objects.

Source: Oncor

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