(CNN) — Powerful storms unloaded flooding rainfall that swept away vehicles and triggered evacuations, delivered hail the size of softballs and spun up at least one damaging tornado in Texas Thursday.

The storms were just the latest in a series of brutal weather events that have pounded the state since early April. Dozens of tornadoes have hit from the Panhandle to the Gulf coast and months of rain has fallen in East Texas in intense spurts, causing rivers to rise to levels not seen since the devastating floods of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Some communities north of Houston picked up nearly two months’ worth of rain Thursday. This rainfall plunged roadways underwater and forced rivers to overflow, leading to evacuations and water rescues.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered Thursday in parts of Harris County, north of Houston, for residents on the east side of the East Fork of the San Jacinto River. The river hit major flood stage on Thursday and is forecast to crest Saturday morning just a few feet shy of the record level during Harvey.

“We want you out of this area… this is a life-threatening situation,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a news conference.

The level of water rise anticipated will impact elevated structures and may rise to reach rooftops or power lines, according to Hidalgo.

Mandatory evacuations due to flooding were also ordered for parts of San Jacinto County and Polk County, with voluntary evacuations for Montgomery County.

Disaster declarations are active for over a third of Texas counties after Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the storm-related declarations in response to the flooding, according to a news release. Additional counties could be added in the coming days, particularly with more storms in the forecast.

Parts of eastern Texas have received anywhere from three to seven times their typical rainfall over the last three to four weeks. The repeated bouts of heavy rainfall soaked soils, making many areas extremely prone to both flash and river flooding. Nearly a foot of rain fell in some spots from Thursday to Friday morning, delivering the final blow. Periods of rain will continue through Friday evening and an additional 1 to 2 inches of rain are possible.

The worst flooding is confined to southeastern Texas where at least a dozen river gauges – including parts of the San Jacinto and Trinity rivers – are in major flood stage, the highest level, as of Friday morning. Several more sites are forecast to experience major flooding by the weekend and could meet or exceed record levels set during Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey created a widespread flooding disaster in Houston after dropping 30 to 40 inches of rain across the entire metro in just 48 hours. While this week’s ongoing flooding is notable, it’s much less widespread and occurring north of where Harvey’s worst rain fell.

As torrential rain flooded eastern Texas, severe thunderstorms spun up tornadoes both north and south of the Abilene area in west Texas. There were eight reports of tornadoes Thursday, according to the Storm Prediction Center.

A “large and extremely dangerous” tornado impacted the towns of Hodges and Hawley – about 10 miles north of Abilene – Thursday evening.

Around 30 homes in Hawley were shredded by the tornado’s winds, with entire sections of some homes left completely exposed. Cars in the area also sustained damage from flying debris. There were “numerous” injuries, but no deaths as of Friday morning, Hawley Police Chief Brad Wilson told CNN.

At least one area school district is allowing students to study from home or take time to recover Friday, following Thursday evening’s damaging tornado.

“The Hawley community has been hit pretty hard and we have several families that have lost homes,” the Hawley Independent School District said in a Facebook post.

Additional severe thunderstorms are possible in parts of Texas Friday afternoon and evening. A Level 3 of 5 risk for severe thunderstorms is in place for parts of west-central Texas, including areas that were hit hard on Thursday.

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