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From April 3: Severe Storms Slam North Texas With Baseball-Sized Hail, Lightning, Tornadoes

Krystina Martinez
A view of a funnel cloud in North Texas tonight. This picture was taken at the intersection of Spring Creek Parkway and Dallas North Tollway in Collin County.

A strong spring storm marched through North Texas Thursday night, slamming the region with lightning, hail as big as baseballs and at least two tornadoes.

The National Weather Service reported tornadoes in Farmersville in Collin County and near Cooper in Delta County. No tornadoes hit Denton County, the weather service reports.

On Friday, a weather service storm survey team found evidence of tornado damage near Princeton in Collin County. Damage was found in several residential areas between U.S. Highway 380 and County Road 407 west of the center of Princeton, the weather service said. Roofs were damaged on several buildings.

Denton County seemed to receive the worst of the hail, with scores of busted windshields and windows. Hail as large as baseballs fell from the sky. In Denton, debris covered the streets and about 200 power outages were reported. The Denton County Transportation Authority stopped train service during a tornado warning. 

By 9:30 p.m. Thursday, the storm had moved through Dallas-Fort Worth, but it was causing problems in northeast Texas. Before 10 p.m., the weather service reported widespread power outages in Hopkins County.

Four people were injured when a suspected tornado destroyed a farmhouse and a mobile home Thursday night near Merit, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas, The Associated Press reported. Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said the injuries weren't life-threatening.

A Denton County Sheriff's Office spokesperson told WFAA-TV that one person was struck by lightning on Rolling Hills Drive.

Emergency officials told the Greenville Herald-Banner that several structures were damaged or destroyed in a wide area between U.S. Highway 69 and State Highway 34 north of Greenville.

Update, 9:30 p.m.: The skies have cleared over much of North Texas, but the storm continues to move to the east. The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for eastern Delta County, northern Hopkins County and southeastern Lamar County. At 9:11 p.m., a severe thunderstorm was near Cooper Lake, the weather service said. 

Update, 8:57 p.m.: A flash flood warning is in effect until 10:45 p.m. for Collin and Hunt counties. Storms have produced heavy rain, the weather service says.

Update, 8:24 p.m.: In Hunt County, near Highway 69, there are reports of significant damage to homes on FM 1081, the weather service reports. At 8:15 p.m., radar indicated a tornado north of Greenville -- 130 mph circulation reported.

Update, 7:58 p.m.: A tornado warning is in effect for eastern Collin County and Hunt County until 8:30 pm. The National Weather Service has reported a brief tornado near Farmersville. WFAA-TV is reporting an injury in Farmersville.

Update, 7:30 p.m.: A tornado warning has been issued for central Collin County until 8 pm. A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Denton County until 8 pm. A flash flood warning is in effect for Denton County until 9:15 pm. 

As of 7:30 pm, significant hail is being reported in parts of Denton County.

The tornado warning that had been in effect for Denton County until 6:30 pm has expired. The storm weakened to the point where it couldn't produce a tornado, the National Weather Service says.

Large hail has been falling in Collin and Denton counties, the National Weather Service reports.

Earlier posts: A tornado watch is in effect throughout North Texas until 9 p.m.

The weather service says a new severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Denton and Collin counties until 7:15 pm. Large hail and strong winds are likely. 

Scattered severe storms, with large hail and damaging winds, as well as potential tornadoes, are expected across parts of North Texas this evening, the National Weather Service reports.

Around 4:45 p.m., large hail – larger than 3 inches in diameter – was expected to pass between Celina and Melissa in the towns of Collin County.

At 3:20 p.m., severe storms were moving toward Ponder and Denton, as well as Tioga and Gunter.

At 3:45 p.m., baseball-sized hail was reported north of Denton.