AUSTIN (KXAN) - Powerful storms packed with hail and heavy rains rolled through the Texas Hill Country and then into Austin before sundown, flooding streets and slowing the evening rush to a crawl on the major roads.
The heavy rains also disrupted flight schedules at ABIA. The airport had to stop airfield operations for a few minutes due to lightning, so some departures are affected in the height of the storm, said Jim Halbrook, ABIA spokesman.
The airport received 2.42 inches of rain and Camp Mabry recorded 1.84 inches.
Streets like West Martin Luther King Boulevard near the University of Texas campus were turned into small river channels as the rain and thunder rumbled through. Interstate 35 traffic though downtown was as slow as drive-though restaurant at lunch hour for the evening commute.
But largely absent from the storm was the hail that ranged in size from pebbles to tennis balls in places like Marble Falls, Kingsland and Granite Shoals.
"Wicked hail storm outside of the Kingsland Massage Garage in Kingsland had drivers seeking cover in a nearby car wash and hunkered down in their cars for more than 20 minutes today," one viewer said in an email to KXAN around 3 p.m
In Marble Falls, KXAN got a report that hail was piling up like snow and people were concerned about property being damaged.
Golf-ball sized hail in Marble Falls damaged more than 1,000 vehicles, including 400 cars at Johnson Sewell Ford Lincoln, according to the Insurance Council of Texas.
At least two Burnet County Sheriff patrol cars suffered broken windows due to the hail.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Travis County and much of the surrounding areas. It was to remain in effect until 11 p.m.
Around 9 p.m., Austin Energy said there were fewer than 400 power outages across the city.
That number was down from a report at 7:45 p.m., when outages existed at 60 different locations and approximately 1,000 customers were without power.
The city owned utility had 10 repair crews and a six tree trimming crews in service. They were working non-stop until power was restored to all customers.
Austin Energy customers should report power outages to 322-9100.
The Storm Prediction Center has the metro and Hill Country communities in the "Slight Risk" area for severe weather through Wednesday morning.
Storms were expected back into the Austin metro area around midnight on Wednesday. The threat for severe weather should die down by Wednesday evening. By that time, many areas could see more than two inches of rain from the storm system.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.
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