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April was a month of remarkable climatological and weather extremes for the Lone Star State. The continuously changing and notable variety of conditions showed the nonuniform nature of each region’s climate and just how quickly these conditions change every day in Texas. Intense precipitation and flooding was a major issue for the state during the early parts of the month. Severe thunderstorms brought torrential downpours to many regions in central and southern Texas during the week of April 10th. Dangerous flooding caused by these downpours led to many road closures, cancellation of classes at Texas State University, and some loss of life. Searches were started early in the aforementioned week for a man in Fort Hood swept away from his vehicle by flash flooding. Three others were able to escape their respective vehicles after being caught up in the high water on the Fort Hood base. Harris County sought to implement plans to improve flood safety by installing cameras, warning lights, and flood gauges to prohibit vehicles from entering flooded areas when, “turn around, don’t drown” isn’t enough warning. 13 people have lost their lives in the county in 2015 so these implementations are timely. Extreme flooding in southeast Texas where up to 10 inches fell during the week of the 18th lead to home and farm flooding, and the displacement of livestock to escape the high water.

Severe weather and tornadic activity was also very prevalent this month. North Texas was a frequent victim of the dangerous weather events beginning in mid-April. The DFW metroplex and other North Texas areas saw severe thunderstorm warnings issued for the regions by the National Weather Service due to the damaging hail and very strong winds associated with a passing line of storms. On April 26th, nearly 20,000 DFW residents were left without power for an extended period of time. The Eastern Texas county of Van Zant was battered by 4 tornadoes during the final weekend in April. According to damage surveys completed by the National Weather Service, two of these tornadoes were determined to be EF- 3 while the others were EF-0. Winds were observed to be up to 165 miles per hour during these storms. Preliminary reports announced that 49 people were injured along with one loss of life, though updated reports have brought these numbers to nearly 80 and 4 respectively. A large tornado that hit the city of Emory left about 45 people unscathed who gathered in the St. John Evangelist Catholic Church which was in the direct path of the storm. Many are deeming this confounding event miraculous as all patrons of the church were able to escape without incident.
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