TEMPLE — A severe thunderstorm passed over eastern Bell County on Monday afternoon, dumping an estimated inch of rain just east of Harker Heights and some hail in the Temple area, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
Although downtown Temple received torrential rain, Draughon-Miller Airport reported only .02 of an inch, Jamie Gudnestad, National Weather Service meteorologist, said Monday afternoon.
The temperature dropped from the mid-90s to 82 degrees during the shower, according to the National Weather Service, and small hail fell in parts of Temple. Some Temple areas received nickel-size hail, Gudnestad said.
As the storm progressed through the Temple area, it caused some localized street flooding, including the Interstate 35 frontage roads, North 31st Street and both Central Avenue and Adams Avenue. Several inches of water rapidly accumulated.
Interstate 35 northbound slowed to a crawl as water poured off the elevated portion to the frontage roads below. One northbound lane of 31st Street was closed by flooding, as was eastbound Avenue H.
The traffic lights in some areas of First Street were off because of the storm, and city crews placed stop signs at each intersection.
The signals also were out at Avenue G and Avenue H at First Street, Temple spokeswoman Shannon Gowan said.
“Due to a power surge, it is possible that these signals will not be back up until tomorrow. If that is the case, our street department will put out stop signs at the intersections to control the flow of traffic,” Gowan said.
Signals also were out briefly at the intersection of Avenue M and First Street.
A possible lightning strike was reported at Temple High School. Temple Fire & Rescue responded and talked to a contractor who was doing some construction work in the area.
He was wearing rubber boots and said he felt a burning sensation on the bottom of his feet, said fire department spokesman Thomas Pechal, adding it was possible lightning struck something and the current could have traveled through the water.
However, no evidence of a lightning strike was found.
A lightning strike in Milam County reportedly started a pasture fire.
Temple Fire & Rescue also responded to a couple of fender benders, as well as some downed power lines and arcing power lines, Pechal said after the main line of the storm passed.
Belton didn’t receive the heavy rainfall that Temple did, city spokesman Paul Romer said.
No significant impact was seen in the depth of Nolan Creek.
Today should be mostly sunny with a high near 97.
The rest of the week should be dry, with high temperatures in the mid- to upper 90s, said Greg Patrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
Natalie Stewart contributed to this report.