Arlington Condo Community Floods Near Rush Creek

By Frank Heinz
|  Thursday, Sep 9, 2010  |  Updated 11:00 AM CDT
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<a title=Arlington firefighters rescued at least 15 people after flood waters surrounded their condo community Wednesday." />

Arlington firefighters rescued at least 15 people after flood waters surrounded their condo community Wednesday.

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Condo Residents Rescued from Flood

Residents of the Willows at Shady Valley in Arlington had to be rescued from their flooded condos.
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In Arlington, at least 10 to 15 people and a dog were rescued by firefighters Wednesday from a condominium complex in the 1900 block of Valleywood Drive.

Footage from Chopper 5 showed cars at the community near Park Springs and Pioneer Parkway submerged up to their roofs in the parking lot and water inching toward the second floor of some of the units built on lower ground.

"Within 30 minutes, it had already come up the grass, about to my front porch," Gabriel Colon said of the high waters. "Within another 30 minutes, it was inside of my house. I took as much [electronic] equipment as I could upstairs. I took my dog, put her upstairs, put her in the kennel. [I] just tried to get as much of the expensive stuff out of the water as we could."

Linda Longshore, another resident, said the rising water took her by surprise. She fled her home with her dog.

"Usually, I know ahead of time, and I can get my car out," she said. "But this time, it was like this when I woke up. It was already too late to get out because the street is too deep. It's the worst part at first -- so you're trapped; you can't get it out of the parking lot."

Alan Kassen, with the Arlington Fire Department, said the department rescued residents who first sought refuge on the roofs and balconies of some of the buildings, but had no way of knowing exactly how many people needed assistance.

The department used the ladders on firetrucks to improvise a bridge across the flooded parking lot. Where the truck's ladders couldn't span the water to reach the buildings, rescuers used boats to reach the stranded residents.

"I'm depressed," said Tom Lindquist, Colon's roommate. "I just, I come home, and I see water up to my door know. It's like, what do you do? There's nothing you can do. You just lost everything. It hurts."

The community is adjacent to Rush Creek, which became swollen from the downpour of Tropical Storm Hermine. The creek receded several feet by Wednesday night.

Police allowed people in to help clean up once the water receded. The power is out in that part of Arlington, but dozens of residents said they planned to spend the night cleaning and salvaging what they can.

The Red Cross opened a shelter Wednesday afternoon in Arlington at Rush Creek Christian Church at 2401 SW Green Oaks Boulevard. Red Cross shelters were also open at the Bowles Life Center on Graham Street in Grand Prairie and at the Kidd Springs Recreation Center on Canty Street in Dallas.

NBCDFW's Julie Tam and Susy Solis contributed to this report.


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