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Storms Rake Dallas Fort Worth

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By BJ Austin & Bill Zeeble, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-842825.mp3

Dallas, TX –

The storms that tore through Dallas Fort Worth overnight and this morning left thousands without power, tree limbs down, and severe street flooding.

Jesse Moore, with the National Weather Service, says the streets just couldn't handle the large volume of rain, especially in Dallas County.

Moore: There are some parts of Dallas County that have picked up six to little bit over eight inches of rain. Just a little bit southeast of downtown Dallas picked up 8.15 inches of rain.

City of Dallas officials say that by 7:30 this morning Dallas Fire-Rescue had participated in 48 water rescues, and taken 110 calls related to wires down and transformers out.

In Fort Worth, Firefighters performed several high water rescues, and tapped out a handful of house fires apparently caused by lightning. Dime-sized hail was reported in Fort Worth.

About 50 flights were canceled today at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Oncor Electric Delivery tells KERA there are still 245 thousand residence and business customers without power. Crews could not really begin work until the storms and lightning cleared out mid-afternoon.

City officials say West Dallas near Sylvan Avenue at McBroom is at risk of evacuation, due to flooding. Police closed Sylvan Avenue, due to flooding in two big sections.

Residents, including Marcus Smith, wandered out along Sylvan looking at the water & damage.

Smith: It's pretty bad, kind of scarey, you know, we trying to debate whether we want to leave or go to a shelter or not. WINDY. Trying to hold out and see what's going to happen. It got flooded a little bit, might get a little rain, but I've never seen anyting like that one, what I'm looking at now.

A pump station in the area stopped working after a lightning strike.

Downed tree limbs dominated calls to Plano 9-1-1 during and after the storms. City officials say there are limbs down "everywhere."

The National Weather Service reports 70 mile an hour winds thru Plano. Tim Garrison was working at Calloway's Nursery on Custer when the storm hit.

Garrison: I ran. I was trying to leave here, but she wouldn't let me, you know don't drive during tornados. Stuff was knocked off the shelves. Our indoor plants looked terrible. The whole nursery was mown over.

Two large trees near the curb were split in half. Plano officials say are telling residents to cut and stack the limbs for pickup, and be patient. They say it may take several weeks to complete the clean up.

Email BJ Austin

Email Bill Zeeble