The Dallas-Fort Worth area experienced some of the worst flash flooding in its history over the last few days. Rain began to fall on the region on Sunday afternoon and didn’t stop for 24 hours. During that period, 9.19 inches of rain fell at the DFW airport, marking the second-wettest 24-hour period in the region’s history. The wettest period was recorded in September 1932.
Fort Worth firefighters were inundated with high-water calls yesterday. During a period of 13 and a half hours that began on Sunday at 10 p.m., the fire department responded to 133 such calls across Fort Worth. It received more than 500 over the course of the flooding.
On Monday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins declared a state of disaster in response to the flooding. The judge requested aid from the state of Texas and the federal government. He said in his statement that one person has been confirmed to be dead. The person, a 60-year-old woman, had her vehicle swept away by the high water in Mesquite. Many other drivers across north Texas were forced to abandon their cars during the flash flooding. Over 100 traffic accidents were reported as well.
As of Tuesday morning, the worst of the storm had passed eastward towards Louisiana. However, there was still concern that additional rainfall could flood urban areas.
The flash flooding came after a very dry year.
Ironically, the flooding came after a very dry spell. More than a quarter of Texas has been under the highest drought designation possible. The first half of the year saw rainfall shortages of around 8–10 inches in much of the state. Therefore, areas like Fort Worth received around a half a year’s worth of rain in just one day. While the parched ground was able to soak up some of the rain, flooding was unavoidable.
Texas’ roads were far from the only thing affected by the flooding. Many flights out of DFW were delayed or cancelled. Sewage overflow was also a problem in urban areas. While the city of Dallas’ water system escaped damage, officials recommended that those in affected areas only drink distilled or boiled water. Though the worst of the flooding is past in north Texas, residents should still exercise caution for the next few days.