Texas Storms Kill 3

Thursday, May 3rd 2007, 11:16 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) _ Days of deadly storms flooded roads, damaged homes and knocked down trees in Texas, and about 200,000 homes and businesses remained in the dark Thursday.

At least three people have been killed _ two hit by lightning and a third stuck in a submerged car.

High wind, heavy rain and lightning and zero visibility shut down Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport for more than an hour Wednesday. Forty flights were canceled, a dozen were diverted and others were delayed.

Wind gusts of up to 100 mph were reported in Terrell, east of Dallas, the National Weather Service said.

In the north Dallas suburb of Plano, gusts blew power lines onto the roof of an unoccupied home, setting it ablaze.

``The windows were popping out. It was scary,'' said neighbor Constantin Chernikov, 20.

Wednesday was the third day of storms, and more wet weather was expected across parts of the state on Thursday, with heavy rain and lightning in spots, the weather service said.

About 300,000 homes and businesses lost power in Dallas and Fort Worth on Wednesday after the storms pushed trees onto power lines and toppled about a dozen transmission towers near Cleburne, said Chris Schein, a Oncor Electric Delivery spokesman. Power had been restored to 100,000 customers by early Thursday, he said.

All three deaths were reported in Central Texas.

A 28-year-old woman was struck by lightning Wednesday as she walked to a parking lot after a boating trip with her family about 15 miles east of Waco, said Lt. Janet Smith of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office.

Also Wednesday, a 57-year-old woman died when her car became submerged in southwestern Bexar County. A day earlier, a 23-year-old man was fatally struck by lightning while fishing in a stock tank in Cameron.

To the west, torrential rain on Wednesday flooded at least two homes in Odessa and left streets with as much as 4 feet of water, said Dale Childers, Odessa's assistant fire chief. The city's emergency phone system was also knocked out briefly.