Damaging storms spawn tornadoes in New Mexico, leave thousands without power in Texas

By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
March 13, 2019, 8:31:02 PM EDT

Damaging thunderstorms, which featured powerful winds, tore across parts of the south-central United States Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Tornado damage was reported in Chaves County, New Mexico, Tuesday night, according to the Chaves County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's office said the rain-wrapped tornado moved into the town of Dexter and damaged several homes.

Another tornado was reported near Loving, New Mexico, according to KOAT in Albuquerque.

Winds approaching hurricane force were reported Wednesday morning, in Texas, including around the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. A 78-mph wind gust was measured at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), while an 80-mph wind gust occurred at Grand Prairie Municipal Airport in Grand Prairie, Texas. A 71 mph gust was recorded at the airport in Addison, Texas.

The Dallas Morning News later reported that a wind gust of 109 mph was reported by the Grand Prairie Airport control tower.

Structural damage was reported at the Gran Prairie airport, according to local media.

Over 140,000 were listed without power in Texas on Wednesday morning, according to website Poweroutage.us.

Baseball-sized hail was observed north of Pecos, Texas. One vehicle was reportedly destroyed.

Two warehouses were heavily damaged near O'Donnell, Texas, due to wind and a semi-trailer was blown over on Texas State Highway 87. The driver suffered a minor injury.

An Amazon.com logistics center near DFW also suffered damage, the Morning News reported.

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The Federal Aviation Administration said some arriving flights into DFW were being delayed by an average of 41 minutes.

In Johnson County, Texas, one person was injured when a small modular home became dislodged. Winds up to 70 mph were possible at the time. Numerous road closures were also reported from trees blocking traffic.

Minor damage was reported in the city of Godley, Texas, but no injuries were reported.

The severe storms caused damage to an airport tower in Amarillo, Texas on Wednesday evening. The Federal Aviation Administration evacuated the building.

"During Wednesday afternoon and evening, the threat of severe thunderstorms will shift toward the lower southern Plains to part of the lower Mississippi Valley," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski stated.

"In this area, there will exist the potential for a few tornadoes, along with the likelihood of damaging wind gusts, hail and flash flooding."

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