Texas on Tornado Alert

Authorities issued a tornado warning for parts of Texas Thursday as heavy rains, winds and hail ravaged the state.

The National Weather Service (search) was on the lookout for twisters in 27 counties, including Harris County, which contains Houston. Twenty-two of the threatened counties are in southeast Texas.

A severe thunderstorm — powerful enough to spin out tornadoes — was spotted by National Weather Service radar on the north end of Lake Houston.

At least two funnel clouds were seen in the Bryan-College Station area.  Bryan City Spokesman Jay Socol has reported dozens of damage reports, including severe roof damage, uprooted trees, snapped power lines and smashed carports.

He says no funnel touchdowns have been confirmed. In nearby Caldwell, the Burleson County Sheriff's Department reported baseball-size hail.

Thunderstorms capable of wind damage, flooding rains and large hail were expected to build toward the coast throughout the afternoon and early evening, according to the National Weather Service.

The same severe weather also threatened parts of nearby Louisiana, a day after a powerful line of storms knocked out several thousand power customers, flooded streets and spawned at least one tornado in the state.

A house in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner had its roof torn off Wednesday night while a tornado was confirmed in an unpopulated area in nearby St. Charles Parish.

Entergy (search) said about 8,000 of its customers in the New Orleans area lost power, mostly because of tree limbs falling on utility lines, but the vast majority had been restored by dawn Thursday.

Throughout the New Orleans area, up to 3 inches of rain fell on saturated ground, causing street flooding throughout the region.

The National Weather Service also said southern Louisiana had another chance of heavy rain, though somewhat less than Wednesday. However, another system was expected to move into the state on Friday, bringing heavy rainfall that could last through Saturday, forecasters said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.