Thunderstorms Leave Damage Across North Texas
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DECATUR (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Some people were hurt as thunderstorms packing strong winds ripped away roofs and left thousands of North Texas residents without electricity. Dallas-based Oncor says nearly 47,000 homes and businesses were without power early Tuesday morning.
Police in Decatur, located 35 miles northwest of Fort Worth, said that a motel guest was injured early Tuesday when sections of the motel’s roof blew off. Chief Rex Hoskins told The Associated Press that the woman at the Sunset Motel was struck by falling debris. Hoskins said that the woman was taken to a hospital in Decatur, where she was treated and released.
Wise County Fire Marshal Marc Dodd said that the roof of a condominium complex also blew off in Runaway Bay, leaving one man slightly hurt. Dodd said that the injured man was treated at the scene.
But it looks as though Denton County may have been the hardest area hit by the storms. Lightning is being blamed for a house fire in Little Elm. The incident happened in the 1000 block of Port Sullivan Drive, where neighbors heard what they described as gunshots. It was later determined to be lightning striking the home. Residents were inside at the time, but were able to escape unharmed. And while the damage was extensive, the home is not a total loss.
Also in Denton County, drivers had a difficult time battling through debris on local roadways. A woman was driving down West Ryan Road in Denton unaware that the road was actually blocked by huge tree limbs. She struck a tree that had been knocked down and got out of her car to wait for help. Then, a man came down the same roadway and ran into the same tree, with the car still stuck inside the branches.
“The little car, the tree had already fallen on it and covered it up. There was no lights. You couldn’t see anything,” the second driver told CBS 11 News shortly after the crash. “I thought I might be coming up on a haze or something, so I drove real slow and I just kind of drove into trees. Luckily I didn’t hit her. I might have skinned her car a little bit, but she was already out.”
The first driver was taken the hospital as a precaution and it expected to be okay. The second driver was not injured, but his truck’s windshield was shattered in the crash. Authorities in Denton — and these drivers — hope this incident can serve as a reminder that, even after the storms have passed, roadway debris still poses a huge threat.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)