Severe storms drench Texas, at least 3 tornadoes

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by RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI

Associated Press

Posted on January 25, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 25 at 11:02 AM

DALLAS (AP) - Rainstorms and strong winds across parts of Texas left thousands of people without electricity and facing the threat of worse conditions in other areas of the state.

At least three tornadoes touched down northwest of Houston, knocking down trees and destroying a tire shop as a massive line of storms batters the state.

National Weather Service meteorologist Gene Hafele said a tornado hit the tire shop Wednesday about 90 miles northwest of Houston.

As the storms moved on, a tornado toppled trees and damaged cars in downtown Brenham, about 70 miles northwest of Houston. A third tornado was seen in Waller County, about 60 miles northwest of Houston.

Rainstorms soaked the Dallas-Fort Worth area before dawn, with some street flooding reported. Dallas-based Oncor reported more than 8,600 weather-related outages, including Central Texas to the Austin area.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport spokesman David Magana said about 30 departures have been canceled due to storms that included lightning.

CenterPoint Energy in Houston had more than 20,000 customers without electricity early Wednesday. Wind gusts of nearly 40 mph were recorded.

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