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5 tornadoes confirmed after night of powerful storms across North Texas

An EF2 twister crossed Interstate 35E near Waxahachie, where multiple tractor-trailers were overturned.

Updated at 6:13 p.m. May 4: Revised throughout to include additional information.

After a line of thunderstorms moved through North Texas on Monday night, leaving damaged buildings and power outages in their wake, the National Weather Service confirmed Tuesday that five tornadoes touched down in the area.

One of the strongest twisters was an EF2 with winds up to 120 mph that traveled 5.2 miles across Ellis County from 8:44 to 8:57 p.m. — crossing Interstate 35E as it moved east. Extensive damage was reported between Waxahachie and Forreston.

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office said the storm caused tractor-trailers to overturn on I-35E, trapping several motorists. Damage to buildings along State Highway 77, which runs parallel to the interstate, was catastrophic, according to the Sheriff’s Office, with between 25 and 50 homes and businesses destroyed.

Officials said that several people were hospitalized but that there had been no storm-related deaths as of Tuesday afternoon. Residents displaced by the storm were taken to overnight shelters.

Monica Flores, who was surveying the damage to her family home Tuesday, said her parents, Barbara and Amando Jaramillo Jr., had been taking shelter in their bathroom when the tornado hit. Barbara Jaramillo was hospitalized but will be OK, Flores said.

“It’s just kind of hard to even think about it,” she said, choking up. “I remember growing up watching my dad build this house.”

A second EF2 tornado touched down in Hill County northwest of Blum from 7:18 to 7:29 p.m., according to the Weather Service. It had winds up to 130 mph.

A popular wedding venue in Blum, Barn on the Brazos, was destroyed, KTVT (Channel 11) reported.

Three EF0 tornadoes caused minor damage:

  • In Hood County, east of Granbury, just after 6 p.m.
  • In Collin County, south of Weston, about 7:40 p.m.
  • In Johnson County, east of Grandview, about 8 p.m.

Monday’s severe weather also knocked out power to more than 10,000 Oncor customers. Fewer than 1,000 remained without power Tuesday evening.

The thunderstorms, bringing large hail and strong winds, began developing on the western edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth area shortly after 5 p.m. Monday as a cold front moved in.

DFW International Airport had recorded its highest temperature so far this year — 90 degrees — earlier in the afternoon. The normal high temperature for May 3 is 80.

The forecast for North Texas calls for sunny weather the rest of the week, with high temperatures slightly below average for a couple of days before rising during the weekend, according to the weather service. A storm system is expected to move into the Dallas-Fort Worth area late in the weekend or early next week.

Staff photographer Lynda M. González contributed to this report.

Tom Steele, Breaking News Producer. Tom has covered breaking news for The Dallas Morning News since 2016. He has worked in a number of other capacities for The News since 2007, and he was previously a copy editor at The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla. He has degrees in journalism and economics from Lehigh University.

tsteele@dallasnews.com tomsteele

Catherine Marfin, Breaking News Reporter. Catherine covers breaking news at The Dallas Morning News. She is a recent graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied journalism and public relations. While at UT, Catherine served as managing editor of The Daily Texan, UT's student paper, and interned at the Texas Tribune and Houston Chronicle.

catherine.marfin@dallasnews.com @catherinemarfin

Charles Scudder, Staff writer. Charlie Scudder is a general assignment reporter and has worked on the features and news desks for six years. He's also an adjunct professor at UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism. Raised in Colleyville, he is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and Indiana University.

cscudder@dallasnews.com @cscudder
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