Area Storms Produce Hail, High Winds, Some Anxiety

A woman and her two children ended up stranded beneath a Temple overpass because of high water, but a passerby came to the rescue Tuesday. (Photo by Kristin Gordon)

(May 21, 2013)—A line of storms pushed through Central Texas Tuesday afternoon, prompting warnings and producing hail, heavy rain, high winds, and a little more anxiety than usual.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for Bell, McLennan and Falls Counties as the storms moved through.

An urban and small stream flood advisory remained in effect until 8:45 p.m. Tuesday in Bell County, because of runoff from the heavy rain.

A woman who tried to drive under an Interstate 35 overpass at West Avenue D in Temple ended up temporarily stranded with her two children because of high water.

A passerby helped them get out of the car and to dry ground and a tow truck was dispatched to push the vehicle out of the water.

Hail as large as one inch was reported Tuesday afternoon in Harker Heights and Killeen.

Three-quarter inch hail was reported in Temple and there were also reports of hail in the Waco area and in Freestone County.

In Morgan’s Point, a large tree fell on a car, a storm spotter reported.

Officials and residents may have been more on edge than usual about the approaching storms, which developed 24 hours after the massive F-5 tornado that swept through Moore, Okla., killing at least 24 and injuring more than 230.

Earlier Tuesday a tornado watch effective until 7 p.m. was issued for Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Lampasas, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Milam Mills, Navarro and Robertson Counties in Central Texas as a cold front pushed to the south and east.

Forecasters said the main threats from storms that formed ahead of the front would be frequent lightning, large hail and damaging winds, but said tornadoes were possible, as well.

Because of the significant chance of severe weather, Gov. Rick Perry Tuesday ordered a partial activation of the State Operations Center.

“The most important thing Texans in the path of these storms should do is remain aware of their surroundings, heed the warnings of local officials and be prepared to shelter in place if necessary,” Perry said.

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Parts of the state experienced severe weather on Monday.

A tornado was reported in Blanket, a town of about 400 residents about 100 miles southwest of Fort Worth.

Brown County sheriff's spokeswoman Kim Chandler said the storm caused "massive damage" to the town's public school complex, but minor damage otherwise and no injuries.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said golf ball-sized hail, powerful winds and isolated, strong tornadoes could strike areas not only of Texas, but also Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma on Tuesday.

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Looking northwest from Academy in Bell County. (Photo courtesy of Adam Cuker, Vortex Chasers)