BlackBerry photo by John Lee

The thunderstorms that rumbled through the Ark-La-Tex this (Friday) evening packed quite a wallop.  

They dumped torrential amounts of rain on some areas and blew down trees and power lines, leaving thousands of SWEPCO customers in northeast Texas and northwest Louisiana in the dark.  Fallen trees also blocked some roadways, especially in the rural areas.  Thunder and lightning were abundant.  Numerous severe thunderstorm warnings were issued by the National Weather Service office in Shreveport.

The storms also pelted parts of the area with large, damaging hail.  Hail stones as big as eggs were reported in parts of southern Arkansas and we had inch-and-3/4 hail at our studios on I-20 in west Shreveport.  In the accompanying photo, you can see a hail stone that I picked up from the back yard of our studios after the rain let up.  By that time, it had already started to melt but you can see that it's still much larger than a quarter.  The hail dented and dinged many vehicles and even smashed the windows out of some.

So far, no serious injuries have been reported as a result of the storms.