Soil and water

Dallas flash flood warning: Deep-sea rescues underway in area as summer rain falls in one day

According to the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth, 9.19 inches of rain fell at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport during a 24-hour period that began Sunday. It was the second highest precipitation total all this time in this region and most since 1932.

Hundreds of traffic accidents were also reported, according to the Dallas Police Department.

Nearly 15 million people from northeast Texas to northern Louisiana and southernmost Arkansas are covered by flood watches from the same system that triggered heavy rains and flash flooding this weekend. -end in parts of the southwest.
Parts of Dallas received an entire summer of rain between Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon, according to the NWS. This rate is only expected once every 100 years, on average. Dallas also received more than 3 inches of rain in just one hour overnight — a rainfall rate of about 1 in 50 years, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has declared a state of disaster in the county in response to flood damage and is asking for state and federal assistance, according to a tweet he posted on his official account.
An unidentified woman, 60, was killed by flooding in Dallas County when her vehicle was swept away, Jenkins said.

His car was “presumably” swept off the road and discovered as the water receded, according to Mesquite Fire Department Chief Russell Wilson.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my entire life,” said Brittany Taylor, who moved into her Dallas apartment just two days before Monday morning’s flooding left most of her belongings destroyed by the flood.

Taylor woke up around 3 a.m. to the sound of torrential rain and couldn’t get back to sleep due to the noise of the leaks, she told CNN.

“All the cardboard boxes started falling apart so a lot of my stuff started falling in the water. I lost a lot of my stuff,” she said, adding that insurance from its tenant does not cover losses due to flooding.

Vehicles trapped in rapidly rising water around 3 a.m. on Interstate 30 in Dallas, said Cassondra Anna Mae Stewart, who filmed the dark, watery scene.

“I was able to back up a ramp to get off the freeway,” she said. “I took an alternate route home…although most of the streets were flooded there as well.”

At that time, “trained weather observers reported major flash flooding in progress across Dallas with many roads and cars submerged, including Interstate 30 to Interstate 45 near downtown Dallas,” according to a flash flood warning issued at 3:21 a.m.

The influx of stormwater caused the Dallas sanitary sewer system to overflow in several locations, the Dallas Department of Water Utilities said in a news release. The water supply is undamaged, the city said, and crews are performing cleanups at each overflow location.

“While there is no danger to the water supply, the public is reminded to avoid contact with waste, soil or water in any of the affected areas,” the statement said. city, adding that residents of affected areas who use private drinking water supplies use only boiled or distilled water.

Other major cities in Monday’s flood watch zone include Austin, Texas, and Shreveport, Louisiana. The region is subject to a moderate risk — level 3 out of 4 — of excessive precipitation. Rainfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour have been seen as storms move slowly through the region, creating the potential for up to 3 to 5 inches of rain.

The rainy weather is expected to continue to spread active showers and thunderstorms across East Texas and the lower Mississippi over the next few days, according to the NWS, which could lead to more flash flooding.

A sign of “climate boost”

The downpour in the Dallas area is accompanied by a “flash drought” that has developed in this extremely dry year across Texas. Exceptional drought – the highest designation – is present in Dallas and Tarrant counties and covers more than a quarter of the state.

Millions of people across Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas remain under flood watch

“Over the past half year, rainfall deficits of 8 inches to locally over a foot have affected areas from central Texas near and south of Dallas/Fort Worth to the Gulf Coast,” said Thursday. Drought Monitor’s summary.

But those rainfall deficits will be mostly wiped out after Monday in Dallas, though large deficits will remain for other parts of Texas.

Human-caused climate change has increased the potential for this type of weather whiplash, in which dramatic fluctuations in periods of drought and heavy rainfall can occur more often.

A greater share of precipitation in recent years has come in “intense one-day events,” and the likelihood of sudden shifts from severe drought to heavy rain will become more common on a warming planet, according to scientists. Indeed, nine of the first 10 years of extreme one-day rainfall have occurred since 1996.
Rescue teams search for hiker in Utah after flash flood
Rainfall over land has become more frequent and intense with each degree of warming since the 1980s. This is because warmer air can hold more water, causing storms like Hurricane Harvey, which has hit Texas in 2017, not only to produce storm surges and damaging winds, but also to cause more intense inland deluges.

Monday’s rainfall pushed this month into the third wettest August on record for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with more than 7 inches in all so far – the most rainfall on record in the during the month since 1915.

Ahead of the flooding in Texas, rain continued Sunday in parts of Arizona and New Mexico after previous days’ flooding in parts of the Southwest.

Motorists escape from flooded vehicles early Monday in downtown Dallas.

In Utah, hikers on Friday were “swept away” in Zion National Park by a flash flood. Search and rescue team members were working to find a missing hiker near the Virgin River, the park said Saturday.

In New Mexico, about 160 people had to shelter in place for several hours at Carlsbad Caverns State Park on Saturday due to flash flooding, the city of Carlsbad said in a Facebook post.

The park was closed on Sunday, the National Park Service said. “Maintenance crews will begin assessing and clearing debris from the roadway,” the National Park Service added.

CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett, Dave Alsup and Raja Razek contributed to this report.