Flooding Rains Force Evacuations, Closures

Tornadoes touch down in Dallas, Seagoville

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Video shows a tornado forming at Cockrell Hill and I-30 in Dallas. (Published Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010)

    Tornado funnels spawned by the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermime touched down in at least four North Texas cities Wednesday.

    The tornadoes started in Ellis County near Ferris just after 5 p.m. and moved northeast into Seagoville after 5:30 p.m.

    Tornadoes were also reported southeast, east and north of downtown Dallas after 6 p.m. and in Lindsey in Cook County after 7 p.m.

    One of the Dallas tornadoes slammed a tractor-trailer rig into a brick paint warehouse near Mockingbird Lane and Irving Boulevard near Dallas Love Field, toppling the building onto the cab. The driver was alert and gave at least one interview before being taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released.

    At least five Dallas businesses were damaged, including a nearby warehouse that sustained a partially collapsed roof.

    A tornado also was briefly on the ground near Seagoville. Residents reported multiple touchdowns around Highway 175. Video from Chopper 5 showed homes with roof damage. Seagoville firefighters said eight apartments and one house were damaged.

    No injuries were reported in Seagoville.

    Witnesses said a twister flipped a woman's sport utility vehicle along Interstate 20 in Mesquite. The woman and her 3-year-old son were not injured.

    Downpours Smash Daily Rainfall Record

    Record-breaking rain also poured down Wednesday, prompting evacuations and road and school closures as creeks and rivers begin to swell far beyond their banks and into communities all across the Metroplex.

    NBC DFW weather watchers reported as much as 9 inches of rain in parts of southern Tarrant County and 5 inches to 6 inches in northern Tarrant County.

    The official rainfall total at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was 5.23 inches as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, sailing past the previous daily rainfall record. The previous record was set in 1976 with a mere 1.62 inches. One inch of total rain was measured at the airport Tuesday.

    As of 3 p.m., most of the rainfall had tapered off, giving the Metroplex a bit of a respite to the deluge.

    This month is so far the fourth-wettest September on record for both Dallas and Fort Worth.

    On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry directed the activation of state search and rescue capabilities, including Texas Military Forces personnel and resources, as heavy rains and flooding from Hermine continue to threaten Texas communities.

    “I urge all Texans to realize the dangers of crossing flooded roadways and respect the barricades put in place by officials to protect Texans’ lives,” Perry said. “Remember these words: turn around, don’t drown."

    If you were one of the unfortunate flood victims, find out what you can do here to minimize the damage.

    Trinity Flood Worries

    The city of Dallas issued evacuation warnings Wednesday for several flood-prone neighborhoods along the Trinity River. The city closed the gates at the low-lying Sylvan Avenue bridge Wednesday night.

    The river is expected to have a crest of 42.8 feet Thursday morning, much lower than earlier forecasts. Police and firefighters are patrolling the area and will wake residents up if necessary.

    Residents Evacuated in Haltom City

    Residents in a Haltom City mobile home park were evacuated because of high water. Residents reported water up to their knees in the community along the 7100 block of Randol Mill Road. The area is near state Highway 121 and Carson Road.

    Interstate 35E North Closed in Lewisville; City Hall Closes

    In Lewisville, the northbound lanes of Interstate 35E near Justin Road and Valley Ridge closed because of high water. At about noon, I-35E reopened, but service roads were still closed.

    Also in Lewisville, City Hall closed Wednesday afternoon so emergency repairs could be made to the building. The building is expected to be open Thursday morning. All other city facilities remained open.

    UTA Closes Buildings; High Water Rescues from Arlington Apartment Complex

    In Arlington, 10 to 15 people and at least one dog were rescued by firefighters at a condo complex on Park Springs. Footage from Chopper 5 showed cars submerged in the parking lot and water up to the second floor in some of the units.

    Across town, the University of Texas at Arlington closed Science Hall and Central Library because of flooding. Crews spent the day working to remove the water and planned to reopen the library at 5 p.m. The Science Hall will reopen Thursday. The rest of the school remained open, and classes were still being held. Students were encouraged to monitor campus e-mail and the university's website for updates on classes.

    High Water Strands Drilling Workers

    Eleven workers were rescued from a Chesapeake Energy drilling site in east Fort Worth. The workers were on a drilling platform at the site at Precinct Line and Kemp roads when water began to rise. Fort Worth police Swift Water rescue teams used boats to help get the workers to dry land. No one was injured.

    Witnesses said water reached about 10 feet in some spots near the area.

    Man Drowns in Johnson County Flooding

    Cleburne fire chief Clint Ishmael told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that a man drowned Wednesday afternoon after he was swept away from firefighters who were trying to rescue him from a flooded creek north of Alvarado in Johnson County. The man had been stranded in his pickup truck. The man was found about 50 yards downstream, Ishmael said.

    Five other people were swept away and rescued in Johnson County. One person, who was trapped in a van, was rescued and one person who was trapped in a house was rescued. Additionally, more than a dozen roads in Johnson County were closed because of high water, including part of Highway 67.

    School Closings, Evacuations

    The Alvarado, Venus and Rio Vista school districts closed early on Wednesday. Rio Vista released students at 1 p.m., Venus let out at 2 p.m. and the Alvarado district asked parents to pick up students early and arranged alternate bus routes for students who take the bus to and from school.

    See complete and up-to-the-minute information on school closings here.

    Students at Cross Timbers Middle School were evacuated by school buses to Grapevine High School because of flooding in the school building. Cross Timbers has 849 students and buses transported all students to the Gym at GHS.

    Bear Creek Intermediate School in Keller Independent School District was evacuated Wednesday because of rising flood waters along Bear Creek.

    NBCDFW's Omar Villafranca, Ken Kalthoff and Grant Stinchfield contributed to this report.