A cluster of storms traveled through Ellis County on Saturday, mostly impacting Waxahachie with damaging winds.
Samantha Pickett, Ellis County Emergency Coordinator, recorded two minor roof damages following the storm — one in rural Waxahachie and another in Forreston.
The Waxahachie Police Department, however, received 160 weather-related calls in a two-hour period, mostly in reference to downed power lines and potential hazards.
Assistant Police Chief Joe Wiser also noted a tree at the cross streets of Gibson and Munchus Streets prohibited a train to cross on the tracks.
Two major accidents occurred during the storm, which included one on U.S. Interstate-35E in front of the Waxahachie Civic Center and another in the 100 block of Ovilla Road. The Waxahachie Fire Department was dispatched to five structure fires.
Waxahachie Fire Capt. Dusty Griffin explained that "most of the fires we responded to were from lightning strikes, some homes had smoke in them, but most were from lightning strikes. There were no real fires."
A photo of significant roof damages on the commercial building located at 206 YMCA Dr. also quickly circulated social media and was included in the damage report conducted by the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, which services the Dallas-Fort Worth Region.
"Based on the pictures of that roof being peeled off, it's most likely the winds were closer to the 45 to 50 miles per hour," stated National Weather Service meteorologist Lamont Bain.
The commercial building houses eight businesses and is appraised at $1 million.
One of the businesses, Infinite Care Home Health was impacted by the wind and rain. The CEO of the company, Matthew Darnall said damages could take up to a month to repair.
"When the storm hit our building employees and the fire department — our neighbors — came together and were able to save most of the computers, paper files, and wound care supplies," Darnall explained. "We have home offices set up and a makeshift office in the building until the office gets repaired."
Thankfully, patients were able to be seen the following day.
Video courtesy Infinite Care Home Health
Bain reported that, when the cluster of showers and thunderstorms rolled through Ellis County, Waxahachie and areas north and between the Dallas County lines were impacted the most.
The storm moved very quickly, lasting approximately one hour with the most intense portion lasting 10 to 15 minutes.
"It was moving pretty fast," Bain emphasized.
At Mid-Way Regional Airport, approximately 0.15 inches of rain was reported. The wind speedometer observes winds every 20 minutes and logged the highest winds at 17 mile-per-hour.
"Winds were most likely higher that than 17-mile-an-hour measurement," Bain noted.
Lancaster Regional Airport, however, reported 43 mile-per-hour winds. Rainfall in Maypearl was reported at 0.36 inches.
Hail in the size of peas and quarters (Keller area) were reported across North Texas, but not in Ellis County.
"During the summer time we see these showers and thunderstorms and they can produce pretty good winds and sometimes pretty intense winds on a very small scale," Bain said. "During summer time people are usually outside on the boat so for a reminder, if you hear thunder or see lighting, know there is a pretty good chance there is going to be a thunderstorm in your area."
Bain suggested residents be equipped with weather information devices and know where they can quickly seek shelter.
During the storm, lights flickered in homes and some did not have power return until dinner time the following evening.
Oncor area manager Kerric Bradford confirmed that approximately 10,000 Ellis County residents — 20 percent of Oncor's service area — were without power due to the Saturday storm.
After Oncor crews worked through the night and into the following day to repair power lines, debris was removed and all power was restored by Sunday evening.
For live updates on local power outages, log onto stormcenter.oncor.com/external.