AUSTIN (KXAN) - Another round of scattered rain and thunderstorms are possible in central Texas this morning. The National Weather Service cancelled the tornado watch and flash flood watch overnight.
The severe weather was part of battering system that hammered parts of the Hill County and spawned tornadoes east of the KXAN viewing area.
By 9:15 p.m., some 700 Austin Energy customers were without power. An outage in the Ranch Road 620-Anderson Mill Road area had about 385 customers without power because of tree limbs on power lines.
Crews were on the scene. Meanwhile, an outage in the 620-Hudson Bend area has about 400 customers without power.
Emergency crews were also dispatched to a few locations because of reports of motorists being trapped in flooded cars, but the occupants were able to get out unharmed. Police were reportedly blocking off streets with low-water crossings late Friday night.
A flash-flood warning was issued for the region Thursday evening and conditions were ripe to for flooding to remain a possibility into Friday. Around 4a.m. Friday the National Weather Service cancelled the flash flood watch for Central Texas.
"National Weather Service Meteorologists have determined that rainfall estimates from Doppler Radar indicate a line of thunderstorms with very heavy rainfall approaching the Austin Metro area from the west," the NWS said in an alert at 8 p.m.
Expect up to 2 inches in about an hour, the service continued.
By 9 p.m., KXAN's radar was showing the storm concentrating over the Interstate 35 corridor snaking down fron the Temple-Belton area south to past San Marcos. The rains largely had passed through much of Austin by 10 p.m. and was moving to the east.
Heavy rains pelted areas around Fredericksburg and Kerrville, dumping more than two inches in some parts. High winds, large hail and isolated tornadoes will remain in the forecast through the night.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, the system also brought tornado sightings to Gonzales County east of San Antonio early Thursday afternoon. They were described as "rope tornadoes" because they were comparatively slim. No damage was reported.
To the east on the Colorado County community of Weimar, a tornado near the local high school was strong enough to derail a train and damage an athletic field scoreboard. No injuries were reported.
The storm reached the Austin area with fury, then calmed in some areas. In northwest Travis County, small hall pelted tops, lawns and cars. Flashs of lightning brightened the night sky, but the accompanying thunder was comparatively muffled around Ranch Road 620 and Anderson Mill Road.
Steady rain soaked the Downtown Austin and continued until the severe storm warning was to expire at 9:15. No reports of damaging winds or large hail were reported in the area.
Because rain totals were expected to average two to four inches -- with up to six inches in localized areas, officials were warning motorists and others that area creeks and drainage ditches quickly could become treacherous. Because the ground is already saturated, the channels are likely to flood faster than normal.
This much rain over a short period of time may result in flooding of low water crossings and other flood-prone areas, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a Flash Flood Watch from Thursday night through Friday afternoon.
In addition to heavy rain, some strong to severe thunderstorms could also develop. The storm system is expected to slowly move east of Central Texas Saturday, but a few lingering showers could still develop. Sunday is expected to be dry, but more upper level disturbances tracking across the state early next week may bring more showers or thunderstorms.
The bigs rains are expected to hit Austin just as the evening commute gets under way.
Some school districts began making preparations Thursday afternoon in case the storms affect class schedules.
Pflugerville district officials said buses are expected to run normally Thursday afternoon, but could be delays could be possible because of rain and increased traffic.
"If any changes should be made to the morning schedule, those changes will be posted to t he district website ," officials said. "Decisions are made as early as possible and based on the best information available at that time."
Stay with KXAN News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. for latest details.
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