High winds downed trees and damaged an airplane at Denton Enterprise Airport as a line of thunderstorms blew into Denton and surrounding cities about 1 p.m. Tuesday. But power companies reported few resulting outages in Denton County.
The strongest wind gust at the airport topped 66 knots, or more than 75 mph. A hangar door at U.S. Aviation Academy blew off its track and hit the wing of a Beechcraft King Air, according to Quentin Hix, Denton’s director of aviation.
The winds changed direction suddenly as the storm arrived, Hix said. Two fence gates were also slightly damaged as the first line of storms blew in, but other airplanes that were out on the tarmac and tied down were not damaged.
Denton Municipal Electric reported no power outages, according to spokesman Brian Daskam. CoServ reported two outages affecting about 100 customers in Wise County, but none in Denton County. Oncor reported small, sporadic outages throughout the county, most affecting 10 or fewer customers.
Most area cities also reported high winds and heavy rain, but minimal damage, including broken tree limbs and some roof damage, from the storm.
Pilot Point saw minimal damage, according to Sgt. Robert Powell, who reported that one traffic light was loosened by wind gusts and dangled above the street.
Local anxiety about the potential intensity of the storms triggered two private schools to release students early. Liberty Christian School in Argyle and Immaculate Conception Catholic School both released students at 12:30 p.m. in advance of the weather threat. Liberty Christian also canceled evening events Tuesday.
A tornado watch originally scheduled through 7 p.m. Tuesday was lifted for Denton and other counties to the west after about 3:30 p.m. Meteorologists with the National Weather Service had said that if any storms formed ahead of the main line, they could become dangerous. But, through Denton County, the line held.
A total of 0.39 inches of rain was reported at the Denton airport during the first two hours of the storm. Temperatures had reached 77 degrees before the storm arrived. Afterward, they dipped to the upper 50s.
The weather today was expected to be sunny, with highs reaching the upper 80s.
Staff writer John Harden and staff photographer Al Key contributed to this report.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.