DALLAS – A severe thunderstorm system that may have included several tornadoes hammered parts of West and North Texas, destroying or damaging more than a dozen homes near Fort Worth.
Officials with the National Weather Service said that crews would be dispatched across the state Thursday to confirm the reports of possible tornadoes Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Other than scrapes and scratches, no injuries were immediately reported from the storms, which brought heavy rain, winds up to 70 mph and baseball-size hail in some counties.
The worst damage appeared to be near the Fort Worth suburb of Crowley, where four homes were destroyed and nine others damaged Wednesday evening, said Melissa Patterson, Tarrant County emergency management officer.
Aerial video of the area showed roofs stripped of shingles and cars buried beneath the debris of what had once been garages.
"It was just a tremendous roar and tremendous winds," homeowner Mike Keith told Dallas-Fort Worth television station KTVT, adding that his yard was littered with debris.
Earlier in the day, storms hit lightly populated areas near Patricia in Dawson County, southwest of Lubbock in the western part of the state. They may have included one or two tornadoes.
"We feel fairly confident on the Patricia one (being a tornado) because there was a ... spotter out of Lubbock that was on that storm," said David Hennig, a weather service meteorologist in Midland.
The storms damaged roofs and knocked down power lines in Jones County, and at least one tornado was reported in Erath County.
There was also a tornado reported Wednesday evening in far western Nebraska. The Morrill County sheriff's office said the storm destroyed a rural house near Bridgeport, but no one was at home. The weather service office in Cheyenne, Wyo., said a tornado was spotted south of Bridgeport about 6 p.m.