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Heavy rain floods streets in Dallas-Fort Worth area: NPR


Stranded cars lie abandoned on the flooded Interstate 635 service road Monday in Mesquite, Texas.

Elias Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP


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Elias Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP

Heavy rain floods streets in Dallas-Fort Worth area: NPR

Stranded cars lie abandoned on the flooded Interstate 635 service road Monday in Mesquite, Texas.

Elias Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP

DALLAS — Heavy rains in the drought-stricken Dallas-Fort Worth area on Monday caused flooding on streets, submerging vehicles as authorities warned motorists to stay off the roads and water seeped in in some homes and businesses.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth area was about ground zero for the heaviest overnight rain,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Daniel Huckaby.

The official National Weather Service recording station at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport reported 9.19 inches (23 centimeters) of rain in the 24 hours ending at 2 p.m. Monday. This ranked second among the 10 most 24-hour rains in Dallas on record. The maximum was 9.57 inches (24.3 centimeters) fell on September 4 and 5, 1932.

“We’ve been in drought conditions, so the ground has absorbed a lot of it, but when you get that much rain in such a short period of time, it’s definitely going to cause flooding, and that’s what we’ve seen, definitely in urban areas here,” Huckaby said.

Across the region, rainfall amounts ranged from less than 1 inch (3 centimeters) to more than 15 inches (38 centimeters), National Weather Service meteorologist Sarah Barnes said. By Monday afternoon, the rain had left the area, she said.

“There was quite a bit of variation in the rainfall totals,” Barnes said.

Heavy rain floods streets in Dallas-Fort Worth area: NPR

Members of the Balch Springs Fire Department take a family of four by boat to higher ground after rescuing them from their home along Forest Glen Lane in Balch Springs, Texas on Monday.

Elias Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP


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Elias Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP

Heavy rain floods streets in Dallas-Fort Worth area: NPR

Members of the Balch Springs Fire Department take a family of four by boat to higher ground after rescuing them from their home along Forest Glen Lane in Balch Springs, Texas on Monday.

Elias Valverde II/The Dallas Morning News via AP

At least one death has been blamed on the downpours as emergency responders in the area said they responded to hundreds of flood calls. A 60-year-old woman was killed when her vehicle was swept away by floodwaters, said Dallas County Commissioners Chairman Clay Jenkins. Jenkins declared a state of disaster for Dallas County and requested federal and state assistance for those affected.

In Balch Springs, a Dallas suburb where a grass fire that broke out in an open, dry field last month damaged more than two dozen homes, authorities rescued people from flooded homes on Monday. Fire Chief Eric Neal said he rescued four people from a flooded home and one person from another.

“We had to get to them by boat and get them to safety,” said Neal, who added that others chose to stay in their flooded homes.

“When the rain stopped, the water started to recede pretty quickly,” Neal said.

At White Rock Lake in Dallas, where water levels have been low for the summer months, people with umbrellas and waterproof jackets braved the rain Monday morning to watch the deluge turn the spillway into previously dry concrete of the lake in what sounded like a roaring river.

Trenton Cody, 29, said he drove on Monday morning to examine the effect the floodwaters were having on the lake dam.

“Looks like we’re somewhere in the mountains with Class V rapids, which is crazy,” Cody said.

Huckaby said flooding began overnight on streets and highways.

“It fell very, very quickly,” Huckaby said. “We had some places in Dallas that had more than 8 inches of rain even in an hour.”

He noted that with so much concrete in urban areas, “there is little that drainage systems can handle”.

Heavy rain floods streets in Dallas-Fort Worth area: NPR

A car sits in floodwaters covering a closed freeway in Dallas on Monday.

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Heavy rain floods streets in Dallas-Fort Worth area: NPR

A car sits in floodwaters covering a closed freeway in Dallas on Monday.

LM Otero/AP

Water has seeped into some businesses. Peter Tarantino, owner of Tarantino’s Cicchetti Bar and Record Lounge in Dallas, told the Dallas Morning News that about 6 inches of water flowed into the dining room, but receded by late morning.

He said he might be able to salvage the furniture, but he will have to replace the carpets and rugs.

“Hopefully by Thursday we can open the bar with some snacks,” he told the newspaper. “I don’t give up too easily.”

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said on Twitter that based on preliminary damage assessments, he was declaring a state of disaster in Dallas County and requesting state and federal assistance.

Meanwhile, the weather has caused hundreds of delays and cancellations to and from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Dallas Love Field.

With the amount of rain that fell on Monday, August now ranks as the second wettest on record for the region. As of 2 p.m., the National Weather Service reported August rainfall totals of 10.08 inches (25 centimeters) at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The wettest August was 10.33 inches (26 centimeters) in 1915.

“It’s probably going to put a little bit on the dryness, I imagine, but I don’t think it’s going to get rid of it in any way,” Barnes said.

She said that over the next week there was little chance of more rain.

“If we don’t continue to see rain, we’ll likely see drought conditions worsen again,” Barnes said.




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