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20120330_FlashNEWS FLASH
10:00 a.m., Friday, March 30, 2012

Jim Campbell, a data acquisition program manager with the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said the storm was actually two storms that had originated from Kenedy County. As the storm moved south it made most of its damage in McAllen, with reports of five inch rain. Campbell said it was difficult to gage the level of hail that had fallen through the western parts of Mission and McAllen. Weather officials who had been investigating the storm in McAllen had heard and seen reports of the hail reaching people's knees, he said.

On Friday morning, a storm assessment team had traveled to McAllen to take photos and determine whether a tornado had struck in the McAllen-Pharr area. The winds in the storm were about 74 miles per hour, Campbell said. While investigating, assessors would be looking at damage and debris and how they fell to determine if a tornado had hit.

"They can tell just by looking," he explained. A detailed report on the possible tornado as well as the rainfall and hail is expected soon, he added.

As for potential rainfall this weekend, Campbell said the Starr, Zapata, Jim Hogg county areas were most likely to experience rainfall with the possibility of isolated to severe storms.

The McAllen area could expect a 40 percent chance for rainfall, he said.

9:00 a.m., Friday, March 30, 2012

AEP spokesman Lee Jones said crews were working to clean debris and downed power lines as they attempted to restore homes to about 4,800 customers that were still without power in the Mission area Friday morning. The number of customers who were without services fluctuated throughout the storm, he added.

Texas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Elizabeth Paradise said by 9 a.m. Friday crews had already cleaned up most of the debris that had crowded much of the streets. After the cleanup, the crews were driving throughout the Rio Grande Valley to asses road damage, like pot holes.

8:00 a.m., Friday, March 30, 2012

Schools are closed today for Mission CISD, Sharyland ISD and McAllen ISD due to flooding conditions and damages caused by a severe thunderstorm last night that brought with it hail, horizontal rain and powerful wind gusts.

La Joya and IDEA Public Schools are still in session.

AEP has reported that just after midnight approximately 25,000 homes in Hidalgo County were reported without power. Power company crews have been working through the night to restore power, and as of 8 a.m. this morning they still have just over 5,000 homes still without power, including homes in the Palmhurst area, where residents have been without power since 9:30 last night.

Hail has been reported all throughout the greater Mission-McAllen area, but McAllen seems to have been hit the hardest with inches of hail still present on the ground this morning and reports of broken windows in cars and homes in the area of N. 2nd Street south of Trenton. Some areas reported golf ball sized hail.

Farms located north of Monte Cristo Rd. have reports of crops shredded by the hail storm.

Mission, Sharyland and La Joya schools are assessing whether they need to cancel sporting events scheduled for tonight. No decision has been made as of this time. .Mission High and Veterans Memorial are expected to make a decision this morning.

Keep posted for further updates throughout the day.

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