Governor declares disaster in 16 Texas counties

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DALLAS (AP) - Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for 16 Texas counties following severe overnight storms including a tornado that battered parts of Dallas.

Abbott's declaration Monday makes state resources available to local officials, plus waives certain regulations to allow utilities to bring in out-of-state resources.

The counties covered are: Cass; Cameron; Collin; Dallas; Ellis; Erath; Hunt; Kaufman; Lamar; Panola; Rains; Rockwall; Rusk; Tarrant; Van Zandt; and Wood.

Tens of thousands of homes and businesses are without power after the swathe of heavy storms hit Dallas before tracking northeast into Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Several homes were seriously damaged by the tornado that struck near Dallas Love Field Airport, which was not damaged.

Mayor Eric Johnson says Dallas was very fortunate to have suffered no fatalities or serious injuries.