At least eight tornadoes up to EF-2 with winds as strong as 217 km/h (135 mph) wreaked havoc in parts of rural North Texas on Wednesday, March 18, 2020-- the National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed Thursday, March 19.
Severe storms sparked at least eight tornadoes that damaged properties and homes in North Texas. A survey team assessed the damage caused by the storm late Wednesday, which occurred south of Graham-- about 129 km (80 miles) northwest of Fort Worth.
The team confirmed that the damage was inflicted by an EF-1 twister with winds of 179 to 177 km/h (105 to 110 mph). It moved northeastward, toward Lake Bridgeport and on the Alvord town.
Widespread damages were reported in the area, with industrial buildings left ruined, power lines downed, and trees uprooted.
DAMAGING TORNADO: At least eight tornadoes have been reported in Texas, with damage to homes and buildings, with nearly 50 million at risk of heavy rain and flash flooding as the system moves into the Northeast. @davidmuir reports. https://t.co/STj79IkTg4 pic.twitter.com/X53N7SbQTn— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) March 20, 2020
A tornado ripped through the southern part of Alvord, Texas late Wednesday night. The storm heavily damaged several businesses but no injuries were reported. https://t.co/JoOs7Tb9d2 pic.twitter.com/xGEnrgYqxZ— Times Record News (@timesrecordnews) March 20, 2020
Our storm survey team has confirmed an EF-1 tornado near Lake Bridgeport in Wise County. This is the second confirmed tornado from last night's storms. Check back for updates and additional information! #txwx #dfwwx pic.twitter.com/93KURRZUdd— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) March 19, 2020
Meanwhile, NWS also confirmed at least two tornadoes in the Abilene area-- both rated at least EF-2 with winds of 179 to 217 km/h (111 to 135 mph). Extensive damage was reported, particularly to trees and several wind turbines. In Tye, a small home was ravaged.
A twister was also confirmed near Hamby, 14 km (9 miles) northeast of Abilene. Strong winds blew cars and trucks around the parking lot at the Robertson Unit and Middleton Unit state prisons.
According to the Abilene police, at least 75 vehicles were tossed around the area. Moreover, the Robertson Unit's and Middleton Unit's perimeter fence suffered partial or total damage, with at least one brick wall also impacted.
The storm also broke windows and torn off the roof of a highway gate building. No injuries were reported, said the officials.
NWS forecast rains to continue through midday across much of the North and Central Texas on March 20. "Some localized flooding will be possible through this time. Otherwise, lightning will be the main threat with any storms."
Additional downpour with chances of thunderstorms will overspread all of North and Central Texas late Saturday through Sunday, March 21 to 22, the agency added. Locally heavy rainfall may also lead to minor flooding; if not, lightning would still be the main threat.
Featured image credit: NWS Fort Worth