Power out, damage reported as gusty winds sweep across North Texas




Posted on December 20, 2012 at 3:16 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 20 at 7:26 PM

High winds gusting to 66 miles-per-hour overnight triggered blackouts and caused some damage across North Texas overnight as a fast-moving cold front swept across the region.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory until noon on Thursday. Forecasters said northwest winds of 25 to 35 mph were expected, with higher gusts. Drivers of high-profile vehicles like trucks and campers were warned to take precautions. 

Oncor, which manages electric distribution in much of northern and central Texas, reported multiple weather-related outages affecting tens of thousands of customers.

Operations at Dallas Executive Airport were shut down after the lights went out.

Main Street in downtown Dallas was closed to traffic at Field Street after a large Christmas decoration became dislodged. The Texas Department of Transportation reported debris was strewn across the westbound lanes of Woodall Rodgers Freeway early Thursday morning. 

Videographer Chris Ghanbari shot this footage of the scene in downtown Dallas overnight. 

A viewer in the Collin County community of Copeville reported damage to fences, outbuildings and boats from the high wind. "It's a mess," the viewer said.

Also in Copeville, a mobile home flipped over and landed on its top. Dewey Hargrove was at work at the time the storm blew in, but his wife and two kids were inside the mobile home not long before it was turned over. The family went to the nearby home of the childrens' grandparents moments before the home was tossed.

"We got lucky," Hargrove said.

Hargrove said nearly everything inside was either destroyed or damaged.

The weather service also alerted boaters to stay off area lakes due to rough waters. It said the wind could be strong enough to topple weak trees and could cause some minor structural damage.

Homeowners were warned to secure any objects like Christmas decorations that could be blown away.

WFAA Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus said the wind is blowing dust across the region, and bringing rapidly-falling temperatures along with it. The wind chill reading was in the 20sThursday morning. The day's high temperature reached the mid-50s after setting an all-time high of 78 degrees on Wednesday, shattering the December 19 record of 73 degrees.