Saturday brought sunshine and a sigh of relief to North Texas, which was pummeled by high winds and heavy rain the night before.
“It could have been a lot worse,” said Kelly Mego, who was driving to her home in Joshua when Friday night’s storm hit, an experience she described as “terrible” as winds shook her car and threw debris at her windows.
National Weather Service teams were conducting damage surveys Saturday after the severe thunderstorms, which uprooted trees and tore roofs off homes when winds measuring 60-80 mph ripped through the area.
Meteorologist Matt Stalley said the heaviest damage in the area was in southern Tarrant and northern Johnson counties.
Areas near Joshua and Godley appeared to have been hit harder than most.
Starla and Terry Smith of Arlington drove Saturday to their 100-acre ranch in Godley, where they found that their small barn had lost its roof. The heavy winds also uprooted, blew over or snapped about 20 cedar trees that had lined their driveway for 30 years.
“We got lucky though,” Starla Smith said. “I could’ve lost my house or my barn.”
Jim Hurt, who lives on 4 acres near Joshua, said he was worried about trees falling on his house during the “intense” storm.
“Branches were snapping right in front of the house,” said Hurt, who guessed it would take four or five days to clean up the mess, even with several people helping out.
Pearl Bransom of Joshua said the storm felt worse than the damage it caused.
“I thought it was a tornado,” said Bransom, who had a tree fall on her garage.
South Fort Worth hit hard
In Fort Worth, the worst damage was in an area along Interstate 20, starting in Benbrook and moving to the east.
On Wabash Avenue in south Fort Worth, a tree had landed on top of a car parked in the driveway.
Near Hulen Mall, crews were working Saturday morning on a large tree that split in front of the Remington Hill Apartments on Overton Ridge Boulevard. To the west in Benbrook, several homes along Winscott Road had trees split in two.
Areas in south Arlington also sustained tree and roof damage.
Some areas lacked power Friday evening, but electricity had been restored to most by Saturday afternoon, Oncor spokeswoman Khristen Jones said.
Rainfall totals surging
The fast-moving thunderstorms arrived in Tarrant County about 6 p.m. Friday, and a tornado warning was issued at 6:28 p.m. as dark clouds, stinging rain and heavy winds moved across the region. The tornado warning was canceled at 6:51 p.m. as the storms weakened and moved into Dallas County.
A handful of sporting events and festivals were postponed or canceled, including Arbor Daze in Euless, which shut down on Saturday because the grounds were too muddy.
With the storms long gone, Saturday turned out to be a beautiful day, with sunny skies and temperatures stretching into the high 80s.
The threat of thunderstorms will return on Sunday and Monday, however, in what has been a rain-soaked April.
Dallas/Fort Worth Airport record 1.03 inches of rain Friday, giving North Texas 13.77 inches for the year, about 10 inches inches more than we had received at this time last year. During April, 4.66 inches fell, 2.36 inches above normal.
Mark David Smith, 817-390-7808
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698