DALLAS (AP) — A band of tornadoes that swept across parts of rural Texas over the weekend flattened buildings, tore the roofs off other structures and forced people to rush for shelter, the National Weather Service said Monday.
National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop confirmed Monday that at least eight tornadoes touched down in an area southwest of Fort Worth late Sunday.
No injuries have been reported.
Hail described as the size of ping pong balls, and larger, showered the area, and several inches of rain caused flash flooding and inundated roadways.
Storm chasers Spencer Basoco and Lawrence McEwen were pursuing the storm south of Stephenville on Sunday when 1-inch hail suddenly gave way to ones measuring 4 inches or more.
Hail shattered in the roadway ahead of their vehicle but then began striking McEwen’s windshield, destroying it.
“There was no possible way to know until it was too late,” Basoco said.
National Weather Service forecaster Lamont Bain said earlier Monday that severe weather reached Comanche, Erath, Somervell, Bosque, Hill and Johnson counties. He said Glen Rose received more than 4 inches of rain.
Part of the Waxahachie police headquarters south of Dallas flooded as water several inches deep rushed into the building.
Anita Foster, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, said in a statement Monday that her agency is assessing the damage and providing assistance to families.
“Overnight, Red Cross teams provided cots and blankets for the shelter set up in Maypearl, and stood by for shelter needs in Johnson, Hood and Erath counties,” she said. “The event is still unfolding with flash flooding throughout the area.”
Stephenville police said shelters were opened Sunday at the city library and other locations for people to seek refuge.
More severe weather was forecast for North and East Texas through Monday, with forecasts calling for winds up to 70 mph, hail and the possibility of tornadoes.
Other parts of Texas, meanwhile, were lashed by heavy rains. The weather service on Monday issued a flash-flood watch for parts of the Panhandle. Amarillo had received up to 2 inches of rain as of Monday morning, and moderate to heavy rainfall was forecast through the day.
Strong thunderstorms in the Houston area Monday brought heavy rain, downed trees and damaged homes and buildings.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported downpours have led to standing water on roads in Alto and other parts of East Texas, and in Hardeman County, northwest of Wichita Falls near the Panhandle.