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Updated: Texas considers virtual schools,  the weather mystifies; Barneys NorthPark will close.

Lakewood’s Fourth of July parade is a tradition that’s nearly 50 years old. While the East Dallas neighborhood is still working to repair major hail damage from the June 13th storms, residents took Independence Day off.

Rondo Estrello / (cc) flickr

The large hail that pounded parts of Dallas County Wednesday night could be one for the record books.

BJ Austin / KERA

Lakewood residents in Dallas are cleaning up after Wednesday night's hailstorm.

Some nasty weather is rolling across north Texas, bringing potentially damaging hail and high winds. Meteorologist Jesse Moore, with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, says it’s not over.

Moore: We could see reports of 2, 2-and-half inch hail as well as wind gusts of 60 mph. So far the biggest I’ve seen has been 2-inch hail up just about 2 miles north of Frisco, and some strong winds, 60 mph winds, reported as well.

Weather service crews are assessing the damage from a Texas Panhandle storm that dumped several feet of nickel-sized hail on an area north of Amarillo, stranded motorists in muddy, hail drifts and closed a highway for several hours.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Justyn Jackson said Thursday that hail that fell amid a rainstorm the day before was real small but "there was a lot of it" in a concentrated area, accumulating 2- to 4-feet deep.

State Farm / (cc) flickr

An insurance industry group estimates the tornadoes and hailstorms that caused scattered devastation in North Texas last week has prompted damage claims topping $300 million so far and could top $500 million.

Dallas school officials say that for the most part safety procedures during Tuesday’s severe weather went smoothly. No staff or children were injured. But KERA has heard from some parents who say they panicked after their schools told them to pick up their children in the midst of the storm. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA

Texas Governor Rick Perry expects rapid federal relief for the North Texas communities ravaged by Tuesday’s tornadoes. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports Perry met with Lancaster residents, where hundreds of homes sustained twister damage and many were destroyed.

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Three more TCU football players have been charged with felony marijuana delivery after a six-month sting.

In Arlington, residents are assessing damage and cleaning up after Tuesday’s destructive tornadoes. KERA’s Bill Zeeble visited some of the city’s hardest hit neighborhoods.

Jacqueline Fellows / KERA

Hundreds of Lancaster residents are still waiting to return home. The EF-2 tornado that hit Tuesday afternoon destroyed homes and property in the northwest corridor of the city. Homeowners want to get in and assess the damage, but city officials say to keep out.  KERA’s Jacqueline Fellows reports.

The City of Forney is crediting its emergency warning network with saving lives when a tornado touched down Tuesday.

Credit: Dylan Hollingsworth

City leaders and weather experts will inspect Dallas-area locations where tornadoes damaged hundreds of homes.

The national weather service says at least four twisters touched down in North Texas yesterday. KERA’s Shelley Kofler has more about what they left behind.

Tornado Hits Forney

Apr 4, 2012

The Diamond Creek community in Forney was especially hard hit by yesterday’s tornado. Police say it damaged 73 homes, 23 severely. KERA’s Bill Zeeble visited one street where the twister took a big toll.

It’s 6:15 as the sun sets and birds sing. A helicopter hovers high above Woodberry, usually a well manicured street. But just hours ago, a twister tore through here. Sharon Mitchell saw it from her house. She says it bobbed up and down, up and down, then veered toward her two story brick home. She took her daughter and 3 grand children into the closet and prayed.

Tornadoes raked the Dallas area Tuesday, crumbling a wing of a nursing home, peeling roofs from dozens of homes and spiraling big-rig trailers into the air like footballs. More than a dozen injuries were reported.

Overturned cars left streets unnavigable and flattened trucks clogged highway shoulders. Preliminary estimates were that six to 12 twisters had touched down in North Texas, senior National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Martello said. But firm numbers would only come after survey teams checked damage Wednesday, he said.

After more than five inches of rain pummeled Dallas, a churning torrent blasted over the White Rock Lake spillway Tuesday. Pancho Guffy watched, in awe of Mother Nature.

urbanfeel / (cc) flickr

Overnight rain flooded many low-lying streets and highways across North Texas. As of 10am, 19 rural Collin County roads were closed due to high water.

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North Texas is bracing for its first big severe weather event this spring.

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The fate of the Texas primaries remains in limbo after neither the state nor minority rights groups appeared to budge during a weekend of court-ordered negotiations.

The winner for rainfall overnight in North Texas is the area around Oakland and I-30 in Fort Worth -- more than six inches reported by the National Weather Service.

KERA News

Dallas water customers are under "Stage 1" drought restrictions effective today. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Dallas Water Utilities' drought response coordinator Yvonne Dupre says the recent rains have not "cured" the drought.

Dupre: The climatologists, the meteorologists say we're going to begin another La Nina which means that we are probably going to be in for another summer like we had last year. And we're trying to get a handle on it now because if it gets worse, the restrictions are going to become worse also.

2010 snow, Dallas Farmers Market

Dallas, TX –

Winter's First Appearance In Forecast

The first winter weather of the season is on the way for North Texas.

National Weather Service forecaster Jennifer Dunn says this weekend will be rainy and windy. Then a cold front moves in.

Dunn: And that cold front is actually going to eventually allow cold air, near freezing temperatures to filter in North Texas which could bring a chance for some winter precip; maybe a winter mix of possibly some ice, maybe some snow on Monday.

Dallas, TX – The state's electric power grid operator says Texas needs more generating capacity if it's to avoid repeats of last February's rolling blackouts and the summer's power supply crises.

In statements issued Thursday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas says extreme conditions this winter could mean a worst-case of demand for 60,000 megawatts with generation dipping to about 57,000 megawatts.

Dallas, TX –

Drought conditions have Texas ranchers dealing with a critical shortage of affordable hay for their horses and livestock. One group wants Governor Rick Perry to provide relief. Texas Public Radio's Richard Noriega has the story.

The Texas drought is one of the worst on record and while the 100-degree days have ceased there is still the critical lack of water and hay across the state.

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