West and North Texas Cleaning up After Violent Storms, Tornadoes

April 25, 2008

Violent thunderstorms produced tornadoes, large hail and heavy rains over west and north Texas on April 23 causing a considerable amount of damage. The worst losses appear to have occurred where the storm clouds began forming just north of Lamesa in Dawson County and later in the evening 300 miles away in southern Tarrant County near Crowley, the Insurance Council of Texas reported.

In Lamesa, Dawson County Sheriff Johnny Garza says parts of the city resemble a war zone.

“I thought the bad weather was over, the skies began clearing and then a cloud came from the north and hail the size of tangerines started falling,” Garza said. Garza was in his patrol car when the hail smashed his front windshield. At least one auto dealership in Lamesa, Benny Body Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep had all of its 200 new and used vehicles damaged. Jackie Ringo, a former claims adjuster in Dawson County, said every homeowner in Lamesa may need a new roof.

A tornado was spotted southwest of Lamesa as well as further east as the storm moved on. In Fisher County baseball size hail was reported west of Rotan and several funnel clouds were reported south of Roby. Golf ball size hail and funnel clouds were sighted next door in Shackelford County. Stephens County which experienced tornado damage earlier this month had golf ball size just south of Breckenridge.

Five and a half inches of rain fell in a brief period of time in Erath County causing flooding in Stephenville and closing county roads. A funnel cloud was reported in northern Erath County near Morgan Mill. At the Erath and Hood County line tornado damage was reported just outside the community of Lipan where barns and trees were blown over and power knocked out.

The storm continued east striking southern Tarrant County where a possible tornado caused considerable damage to five homes southwest of Crowley. Some minor injuries were reported. High winds east of Crowley near Kennedale pushed over a tree that crushed a mobile home.

Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Terry Grisham said officers lost one patrol car in high water and that a number of fences were blown down that have allowed livestock to cross roadways causing traffic hazards.

Source: The Insurance Council of Texas, www.insurancecouncil.org

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