North Texas storm damage surveyed, tornadoes confirmed - Dallas News |

North Texas storm damage surveyed, tornadoes confirmed

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Savage thunderstorms kept North Texas on edge Thursday afternoon and evening, spawning at least an EF-0 tornado and hail as large as softballs.

The National Weather confirmed Friday that at least four tornadoes touched down in North Texas.

The NWS said an EF-0 tornado hit in Princeton in Collin County. It had a 1.2-mile path and up to 85mph winds.

Another confirmed tornado was southeast of Cooper Lake in Hopkins County. Video from SKY 4 showed workers in Sulphur Springs sifting through debris scattered across yards.

Survey crews with the NWS were on the ground Friday analyzing other possible tornado damage in Collin, Denton and Hunt counties. They say a lot of the destruction may have been caused by straight line winds.

The crews spent hours on scene communicating with the crews back at headquarters through a system on their cell phones that can help them analyze entire areas and see just how much damage was done.

Weather service officials say the system they use on their cellphones is a huge jump from the method they used before. It's quicker and helps keep everyone on the same page, especially when they are dealing with large areas.

Hunt County residents said they had only minutes to get out of danger from an E-F1 tornado.

At least four people were injured there when a suspected tornado hit homes near Merit, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas.

David Miller said his wife and daughters were home at the time. They took shelter in family's living room and master bathroom and were hurt by, but not seriously.

They were lucky because a 35-foot motor home on the property was flipped upside down and a nearby farmhouse was completely destroyed.

"Everything is gone, every shed, every barn on the place but the house. Half the roof is missing on the house, but other than that the house is here," Miller said.

Miller said it's actually the second tornado he's experienced. He had a home in Oklahoma that was hit about five years ago.

Earlier in the day, severe thunderstorms pummeled Denton. The NWS said there were no tornadoes, but reported baseball and softball-sized hail fell north of downtown.

At the University of North Texas in Denton, high winds blew off a portion of a roof and debris landed on cars in parking lots.

Students and staff also hunkered down at Texas Woman's University, where baseball-sized hail caused damage to cars in the parking lots.

"It's stressful because you're not getting any updates. Cell phone is not working and not getting any messages and you're relying on delayed updates from faculty. They kept us safe. This is my first one and this is scary that I couldn't get info in or out to my phone," said Lindsay Pursglove, a TWU student.

Denton city spokeswoman Lindsay Baker said area businesses reported widespread damage such as broken windows and skylights.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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