Wylie took some of worst
houses sustain roof, window damage;
flooding hits N. Texas
12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, April 1, 2007
/By JAY PARSONS and JENNI BEAUCHAMP
The Dallas Morning News
Staff Writers Tanya Eiserer and Jon
Nielsen contributed to this report
WYLIE – After the vicious nighttime
storms had passed, Dawn Parrott of Wylie
walked outside and noticed that her back
yard just got a whole lot bigger. The
winds had knocked down all the fences in
sight, and one wood fence piece had
pierced her roof.
"Hey, we could make a football field out
here," Mrs. Parrott joked Saturday as
she cleared debris from her property.
"We should just leave it open."
Some of the most extensive damage from
Friday night's storms could be seen
along Mrs. Parrott's block on Country
Walk Lane, which was lined Saturday with
the cars of friends and volunteers.
Winds tore off roofs, shattered windows
and hurled a parked car 45 feet.
The enormous storms also caused flooding
across North Texas and more than 200
cancellations at Dallas/Fort Worth
No serious injuries were reported.
More than 2 inches of rain fell at the
airport – where the official gauges for
the area are kept – on Friday and early
But other areas of North Texas recorded
There was plenty of room in this Wylie
neighborhood Saturday after Friday
night's storms took down most of the
fences. They also took off several
roofs. Neighbors reported sighting
funnel clouds, but the National Weather
Service didn't record a tornado in the
In Parker County, officials estimated
that at least 50 homes were flooded or
in danger of flooding.
The National Weather Service in Fort
Worth extended a flood warning for the
Trinity River until Monday evening.
The river was above 30 feet on Saturday
and was expected to reach 36 feet in the
Dallas area before receding.
Flooding along the river forced the
Sylvan Avenue bridge to close, and it
remained closed late Saturday.
And in Ellis County, the greens at
Waxahachie Country Club became a murky
lake after two days of rain.
Ron Williams Emergency Response
Team on site of the Wylie Tornado
Nearby homes weren't damaged, but the
golf course closed Saturday.
Elsewhere in Ellis County, several farm
roads closed because of high water.
"It is deep and dangerous," said Hank
Campbell, a maintenance supervisor with
the Texas Department of
"I don't know how long it is going to
take for the water to recede, but I
think it may be sometime" today.
As daylight broke Saturday, it appeared
that Wylie may have suffered the brunt
of the storms' wrath, with 51 damaged
homes in new subdivisions west of
FM1378. Five families were displaced.
Some residents told authorities that
they saw funnel clouds, but the National
Weather Service didn't record a tornado
in the area.
"In that kind of situation, the damage
could be from strong straight-line
winds, but you can't rule out spin-ups –
a small, brief tornado – along the
leading edge of the
thunderstorm," weather service
forecaster Bill Bunting said.
Mr. Bunting said the highest wind speed
readings measured close to 60 mph, but
the gusts in Wylie were probably
"It sounded like a blower in a carwash,"
said John Chapman, one of the Parrotts'
neighbors. "I could hear the windows
shaking. I grabbed the cat, ran into the
center of the house, and by the time we
got there, it was over."
Mrs. Parrott's husband, Dwayne, said
their rocky night came and went quickly.
"We were finishing dinner and I saw the
reflection in the windows bouncing, and
when it finally broke, it was an
explosion, basically," Mr. Parrott said.
"The front window broke, and we ran into
the hallway and it was over."
They thought the windows were the only
damage. But a few minutes later, Mr.
Chapman came by.
"You know your roof is gone, right?"
Mrs. Parrott recalled Mr. Chapman
"And we said, 'What?' " Mrs. Parrott
A 25-foot-wide hole allowed enough water
inside to destroy much of the home's
"If we're living here in a month, I'd be
very surprised," Mr. Parrott said. "But
we have some really good neighbors
In south Parker County, along the banks
of the Brazos River, rising water
Saturday forced dozens of residents out
of their tiny homes in an unincorporated
area known as Horseshoe Bend. Many of
the homes are travel trailers used as
Sheriff's deputies and other county
workers were pitching in to help
residents move the trailers and other
belongings. County jail prisoners helped
round up animals.
Officials said the river had risen at
least 5 ½ feet by Saturday afternoon,
and it was expected to rise another foot
and a half to about 25 feet.
Josh Hernandez and his wife moved into
their 500-square-foot home about a month
ago, and he said he'd just gotten done
remodeling the bathroom. On Saturday,
floodwaters had reached his home. But he
was taking it all in stride.
"That's the price you pay for living in
a flood zone," said Mr. Hernandez, whose
primary home is near Austin. "You know
what you're getting into."
The Red Cross said it was providing
shelter for five families in Haltom
City, but a handful of other displaced
families in Collin, Ellis and Tarrant
counties found other places to stay.
TXU reported that 1,700 homes and
businesses in the area lost power,
mostly in Dallas. A spokeswoman said
most should have power restored by
Forecaster Greg Patrick with the
National Weather Service predicted sunny
skies through Monday with high
temperatures for today and Monday in the
"The next chance for rain could be
Tuesday, with a 20 percent chance," Mr.
Patrick said, "but it doesn't look like
we are going to see any more big
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