Heavy Rains Plague Parts of Texas

Monday, November 6th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) — High wind and tornadoes damaged homes and toppled power lines in central and southeastern Texas, and record rainfall flooded highways.

Thunderstorms also delayed or canceled dozens of flights at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in northern Texas, forcing many passengers to spend the night in terminals.

One tornado touched down in Montgomery County at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, toppling trees, National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Fox said.

No injuries were reported. However, the severe weather that began Thursday with the slow passage of a cold front and upper-level low pressure system through the state was blamed for the deaths of six people.

By Monday morning, the stormy weather had moved eastward and showers and locally heavy were scattered along the Mississippi Valley from Louisiana into Minnesota.

In central Texas on Sunday, high wind damaged homes at Burnet. Numerous funnel clouds were sighted in the San Antonio area and wind damage was reported in Bexar and Medina counties.

``We've had very high winds. They tore a hole in the roof of a church and cars were damaged by flying debris,'' Jordan Johnson, a Medina County sheriff's dispatcher, said early Monday.

The Dallas-Fort Worth airport collected 2.14 inches of rain on Sunday, surpassing the previous record for Nov. 5 of 1.59 inches, set in 1957.

Roadway flooding was reported in Paris and Sulphur Springs in northeast Texas.

Officials in Sonora said lightning sparked a fire at a chemical warehouse that prompted the evacuation of about 200 residents of the West Texas town Sunday afternoon. Two evacuees were hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation.

In the weather-related deaths, Sheila Pyle, a 45-year-old Trinity County deputy, was killed Friday night near Apple Springs in East Texas when her patrol car hydroplaned and hit an ambulance. The driver and a passenger in the ambulance suffered minor injuries.

Elsewhere, Roy Bagby, 79, drowned Friday when his pickup was swept away by high water in Mason County. Alan David Grierson, a local folk singer and songwriter, was found dead Friday about two miles from where he drove his car into high water in Gillespie County, west of Austin.

And an 82-year-old woman died in her car after driving into the Guadalupe River about 50 miles northwest of San Antonio.

Two teen-agers died Thursday in San Antonio when their car spun into the path of oncoming traffic on a wet road.


On the Net:

National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov