Texoma residents got a loud wake up call Wednesday morning as powerful storms and strong winds rolled through the region overnight.
Despite the power of the storms, emergency officials said the damage appeared to be light after the sun rose Wednesday.
“We fared better than other communities,” Grayson County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Sarah Somers said via text message.
Officials with the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office said the majority of the damaging weather in North Texas occurred in the Metroplex and south of it. The storm system, which travelled east, brought significant weather and localized tornadoes along its path in portions of West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, meteorologist Tom Bradshaw said.
For the majority of North Texas, the main damaging weather came in the form of straight line winds. Dallas-Fort Worth Airport recorded gusts as high as 78 mph. Bradshaw said gusts of 80-85 mph were believed to have occurred at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport, where damage to aircraft was reported.
Locally, the highest recorded winds occurred at North Texas Regional Airport — where gusts as high as 67 mph were recorded. Despite the high winds, meteorologists reported little flooding or other issues that typically come with powerful storms.
“We didn’t have a lot of flash flooding as the system was moving through the region very fast,” Bradshaw said.
Somers said locally much of the damage appeared to be from the high winds, but some was likely caused by other factors within the storm.
“Usually when you want to see the wind damage, you just need to follow the power lines,” Somers said.
However, Somers said other factors, including lightning strikes, are believed to have played a factor in some of the power outages. Oncor area manager Todd Thompson said Texoma saw limited outages across the region, but most were small. Oncor’s outage map reported about 450 customers without power in the Sherman-Denison area by 9 a.m.
That was well below what officials expected, given the strength of the storms.
“It was not near as much damage as we expected, and we’re fortunate for that,” Thompson said.
Somers said the heaviest hit area appeared to be Gunter, with significant damage occurring along a southwest-northeast line through the city. Gunter High School received damage to the school’s goal posts and other outdoor athletic equipment. Other damages included roofs that were removed by the wind and trees that were uprooted.
Officials in Sherman and Denison reported the damage appears to be minor within the cities, with limited calls related to wrecks and false security alarms. However, buildings in the 600 block of South Mirick in Denison appeared to have sustained some roof damage.
Small pieces of black tar paper and pieces of metal littered the Denison street, while a large section of the material was left draped across the railroad tracks. The material appeared to come from a vacant commercial building next to the tracks. Other nearby buildings appeared to have some shingle damage from the storms.