Heavy rains and a Texas tornado knock out electricity to 200,000

Aerial views of Dallas County, Texas Monday morning revealed damaged homes from Sunday night's tornado that knocked out power for more than 175,000 homes and businesses.
A handout photo made available by the Dallas Fire-Rescue showing extensive damage to their Fire Station #41 after being struck by a tornado in the early morning hours in Dallas, Texas, on Oct 21, 2019.
A handout photo made available by the Dallas Fire-Rescue showing extensive damage to their Fire Station #41 after being struck by a tornado in the early morning hours in Dallas, Texas, on Oct 21, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - More than 200,000 homes and businesses lost power Monday (Oct 21) morning as thunderstorms produced heavy rainfall and knocked down power lines from Texas to Tennessee.

A tornado struck Dallas late Sunday, damaging houses and businesses, and Sempra Energy's Oncor Electric utility reported 99,000 outages across its system in Texas east of Interstate 35.

The utility "has experienced significant damage to power lines" that have made it difficult to estimate restoration times, the company said in a statement on its website.

Utilities in Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee reported another 105,000 customer cutoffs scattered throughout their service areas as storms moved east.

There were 204 reports of storm damage across the central and southern US through Sunday as the front passed through, said Bob Oravec, a senior branch forecaster with the US Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

Large, damaging hail was reported across Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas, according to the US Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, tornado watches stretch from Illinois to Mississippi, and severe thunderstorms are possible as far south as central Louisiana.

A strong low pressure trough that pushed the thunderstorms and wind in front of it was "a very good set-up for pretty widespread heavy rain and thunderstorms," Oravec said.