WAXAHACHIE — Straight-line winds that blew through Ellis County on Monday left a path of destruction along part of Interstate Highway 35E and U.S. Highway 77. Now, some businesses and homes are left to assess the damage done to their properties.
“We saw some damages to mainly trees and carports between Maypearl and Midlothian, which is where we saw some pretty decent damage there with the storms that moved through yesterday morning. All of the evidence that we have seen points to damaging straight line winds,” Lamont Bain, a meteorologist with National Weather Service in Fort Worth said. “The wind speeds just looking at the damage we would estimate around 60 to 70 mph. Hail, in general, was pretty small but we did receive some reports of pea to nickel size hail there in Midlothian with the storms that rolled through.”
Bain said storm moved into Ellis County between 4-6 a.m. and winds at Mid-Way Regional Airport were measured at 40-50 miles per hour.
“Damaging straight-line winds can come in pockets and can combine,” Bain said. “In some situations, we have these really intense squall lines that produce damage over a much larger area.”
Bain said there were no reported lighting strikes in Ellis County, but it was reported that some structures did catch on fire due to lighting in southern Dallas County.
According to the National Weather Service’s Facebook page, at 4:43 a.m. the line of severe storms with moved east across the area south of the I-20 corridor.
The Ellis County Office of Emergency Management posted on its official Facebook paged that 6,000 residents were without power.
“We had multiple buildings that lost their roof. We had a carport that landed in the middle of Farm-to-Market Road 879,” Ellis County Emergency Management Coordinator Stephanie Parker said. “We had a tree go into a home with an injury to a teen who is expected to make a full recovery.”
Fire Departments across the county reported that they had several calls involving downed power lines. Waxahachie Assistant Fire Chief Randall Potter stated that Waxahachie had about a half a dozen calls relating to down power lines.
COLD WEATHER TO RETURN
Bain said Ellis County has not seen the last of the winter weather and expects the next batch to arrive on Thursday and run through the weekend.
“What I can tell you that it will feel a lot colder. We will have a couple of shots of cold air coming through right now. We have temperatures in the 40’s the rest of the week that look like it will be near or just below normal,” Bain said. “That is quite the contrast over the past several weeks where we have been well above normal. It is going to get colder into the weekend.”
According to the National Weather Service’s website, it is expected that temperatures on Thursday night will be around 27 degrees with winds that could have gust as high as 20 mph.
Bain advises residents to pay attention to the local weather forecasts and dress accordingly because the weather in Texas can change very rapidly.
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