DALLAS—Heavy rains coupled with severe thunderstorms ripped through North Texas during the early hours of Wednesday.
Power outages, downed trees and even totally destroyed homes lay in the wake of this high pressure system.
At 6:00 a.m., Oncor Electric Delivery reported 150,000 homes were without power in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Ongoing Traffic Delays
As the sun rose, rush hour delays continued to mount. Most notably in Grand Prairie.
Both westbound and eastbound traffic has been shut down on Interstate 20 near Florence Hill through Grand Prairie to Duncanville.
First responders attribute the combination of downed power lines, high water and auto accidents to the highway shutdown.
In the meantime commuters can use Spur 303 and Interstate 30 as alternate routes.
Storms Impact Statewide Testing
This week students statewide are busy with their STAAR exams. Currently traffic backups and power outages don’t seem to be affecting testing in DeSoto, Duncanville, Lancaster and Cedar Hill districts.
“According to our plant services we are all good with power and schools will start on schedule.” DeSoto ISD Spokesperson Beth Trimble confirmed.
Glen Rose and Keller Independent School Districts announced that school will be delayed until 10 a.m. Wednesday due to the power outages. Mountain View College is experiencing a weather-related power outage and will be closed until noon.
Arlington Independent School District tweeted that some campuses are closed on Wednesday, including: Arlington Collegiate High School, Bowie High School, Seguin High School, Venture High School, Newcomer Center, Barnett Junior High, Ousley Junior High, Nichols Junior High, Turning Point Junior High, Ashworth Elementary, Bebensee Elementary, Beckham Elementary, Bryant Elementary, Butler Elementary, Fitzgerald Elementary, Pearcy Elementary, Starrett Elementary, West Elementary, and Williams Elementary.
Bishop Dunne Catholic School and Mansfield ISD cancelled classes completely.
Emergency Sirens Warn Residents
Around 2:30 a.m. Best Southwest residents awoke to severe weather by area sirens. Many residents responded to the warning accordingly.
“I heard those sirens and I ran upstairs to get the boys and the dog. We got in the closet … better safe than sorry,” said Venita Buffington of Lancaster.
Others however, continued to enjoy their nights sleep.
“A storm? When? Raining? Where? I didn’t hear any of that,” said Jermayne Kines of Red Oak.
Regional siren systems alert residents of inclement weather such as tornado watches, warning, severe storms and terrorism events.
National Weather experts in Fort Worth continue to tout the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. Each merits different actions in response.
A Tornado Watch means that conditions exist which make tornado development possible. Keep a watchful eye on the sky for threatening weather, and stay tuned to the radio, television or NOAA Weather radio for the latest information.
A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. People in the path of the storm should seek shelter immediately, preferably on the lowest level of a house.
Bad Weather Could Return
Area residents will not have much time to recover from this severe weather event as more damaging thunderstorms and heavy rain may target the region this weekend.
According to the National Weather Service another storm system will bring increasing chances for thunderstorms to the region Saturday through Monday night, with the highest coverage Sunday and Sunday night.
Strong to severe storms will once again be possible, as well as a threat for localized heavy rainfall. Although experts say specific details remain uncertain.