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Jul 17, 5:22 PM EDT

North Texas storms, rain blamed for airport, highway delays; I-35 near Gainesville reopens

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DALLAS (AP) -- Storms dumped nearly a foot of rain in parts of North Texas and delayed air and highway travel Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch through Friday afternoon for the Dallas-Fort Worth area and points north, including Denton, Gainesville, Sherman and Denison.

"We've got high rain chances really all over North and Central Texas," weather service forecaster Jason Dunn in Fort Worth said.

The town of Valley View, about 50 miles northwest of Dallas, received almost 11 inches of rain during a 24-hour period ending Thursday morning, Dunn said, while Denton had about 3.3 inches of rain since midnight Wednesday.

He warned drivers to avoid high water over roadways.

"We always seem to have those things happen and it never works out for the good," Dunn said.

The Cooke County Sheriff's Office had no immediate reports of injuries or damage from the storm that had swamped some roads. Parts of Interstate 35 in Denton and Cooke counties were closed for several hours during heavy rain but had reopened by 8 a.m. Thursday, said Michelle Releford, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Transportation in Mesquite.

David Magana, a spokesman for Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, said about 200 flights were canceled and others delays because of thunderstorms, lightning and light rain, but flight operations had returned to normal by midmorning Thursday.

Electric provider Oncor reported about 3,000 homes and businesses, mainly in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, lost power Thursday.

Farther south, four people were hurt by an apparent lightning strike Wednesday afternoon in Houston, according to the Houston Fire Department. The victims were working on the foundation of a house when lightning also struck a nearby tree, officials said.

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