Powerful storms tear through Garland

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by JOBIN PANICKER and TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on August 13, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 14 at 5:51 PM

GARLAND --  Tuesday night's summer storm dislodged a church steeple and toppled trees and fences in Garland and in other North Texas cities.

The 65-foot steeple was the dominant feature at South Garland Baptist Church, 1330 East Centerville Road, for four decades.

Pastor Larry Davis said it fell over in the high winds and hail that accompanied the heavy rain.

Some workers of the church were actually inside when the storm swept through the area.

"There was just a loud wind, and it was pushing against my office," said church worker Joyce Still. "I looked up and saw the water was swirling off the building, and at that point I looked across and the transformer blew, so we decided it was time to head downstairs to the basement for safety."

A youth group had just left the facility just a few minutes before the damage.

"God was good to us, and He's taking care of us," Still said.

Two enormous air conditioning units were also ripped off the church's roof from the powerful winds.

Trees were down on streets and on some vehicles.

Wednesday morning, a fire ignited at a home not too far away from the home because of downed power lines.

"I told everyone, 'Get out!'" said Joe Lerma, who was inside the house with his family. 

The storm knocked out power to thousands of customers in Dallas and Tarrant counties.

The system had moved out of the immediate Dallas Fort-Worth area  by 10 p.m. Tuesday, leaving rainfall totals in some areas up to 3/4-inch or more.

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