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Strong storm system drenches North Texas

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm •  Published: May 8, 2014

DALLAS (AP) — Thunderstorms packing powerful winds caused widespread damage in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Thursday afternoon, hours after a deluge of up to 4 inches of rain prompted a high-water rescue of a group of children.

Wind gusts of up to 70 mph toppled large trees, tearing holes in warehouse roofs and peeling away the front wall of a church.

Civil defense sirens sounded throughout many parts of the city after the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning. No tornado was reported, though large trees were toppled in the Park Cities and Lakewood areas north of downtown Dallas.

The front wall of the New Beginnings Covenant Ministries collapsed at a time when a service had been scheduled but had been canceled because of the weather. Also, aerial video showed damage to roofs of west Dallas warehouses.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit suspended light rail services along its northern routes until the storm passed.

Hours earlier, emergency personnel rescued five children trapped by rising waters along a creek in southern Dallas, according to police. All five were taken to a hospital for evaluation.

About 45 miles to the southwest, strong winds destroyed a mobile home near Joshua. Johnson County Emergency Management Coordinator Jamie Moore says a mother and child were injured but their injuries didn't seem life-threatening.

The storm left in the dark as many as 39,000 customers of the Dallas-based electric utility Oncor. Crews had reduced that number to about 16,000 by late Thursday night.