Authorities Rescue Dozens Trapped in Floodwaters - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Continuing coverage of flooding during severe storms in Texas

Authorities Rescue Dozens Trapped in Floodwaters

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chopper 5 Captures High-Water Rescue

    Chopper 5 captures authorities rescuing two people from a mobile home surrounded by floodwaters. (Published Sunday, May 17, 2015)

    Sunday morning was a morning of firsts for Bill and Tracey Kastel, who live just north of Venus.

    It was the first time flood waters got as high as they did following 4.7 inches of rain at the National Weather Service's Mountain Creek station. It was also the first time they've been in a helicopter, which was called in by Johnson County authorities to pluck the couple off their porch and bring them to safer, dryer ground.

    "You get a real different perspective from a few hundred feet in the air looking down and seeing how coverage the water was actually doing," said Bill Kastel. "How bad it was flowing, how much of the area was affected and never imagined it would be like this."

    Authorities Rescue Dozens Trapped in FloodwatersAuthorities Rescue Dozens Trapped in Floodwaters

    North Texas authorities respond to dozens of high-water calls and rescue homeowners, motorists and animals after thunderstorms roll through the area overnight.
    (Published Sunday, May 17, 2015)

    "That was fun," Tracey Kastel said. "I would do that four or five more times, that was a blast. I love it."

    The blast of water around and under their home was so fun though.

    "All the kids outside toys are gone," Tracey said as she picked up items from her neighbor's yard.

    And while she enjoyed the ride, her husband wasn't exactly a fan.

    "Experience of a lifetime being airlifted by a helicopter, hope that’s the last time we’ll have to experience a helicopter ride," he said.

    It's not the first time Mountain Creek has overflowed it's banks. The worst incident happened around 2007 when the home was washed out. The insurance company had the home placed on stilts, which likely saved them on Sunday, but they say it was still too close for comfort.

    "We were fearful, very fearful, but like I said, fortunately for us we were high and dry," Bill Kastel said. "The worst it has ever been and I didn’t know what to expect, because I was totally unaware of how much rain had fallen."

    The Kastels were told that 8 inches of rain had fallen, but the National Weather Service and Mansfield Fire put that number at half that total.

    "This was like four inches in two hours, there was a rapid run-off," said Asst. Chief Eric Peterson of Mansfield Fire.

    Johnson County authorities reported 14 high-water calls as of about 8 a.m. and said they rescued 10 people and five dogs. They said the majority of the high-water rescues were near Farm-to-Market Road 2738 in Alvarado.

    The run-off caught Corey Sullivan off guard on a dark Road 917 in Mansfield around 5:30 a.m. as he was driving to work in Alvarado.

    "It was just maybe up to the bottom of the window, so I just rolled down my window, called 911 and I just got out," Sullivan said.

    He thought he was about to hit another puddle, only to discover a nearby creek had crossed the roadway.

    Sullivan wasn't the only one impacted by flood waters.

    Three other people in two other vehicles were also stranded down stream. The Mansfield Fire Department, joined by other agencies, used its hovercraft to rescue those people. Hours later a red truck could be seen tangled in trees down from the roadway.

    Three other people in two other vehicles were also stranded down stream. The Mansfield Fire Department, joined by other agencies, used its hovercraft to rescue those people. Hours later a red truck could be seen tangled in trees down from the roadway.

    Rescues were also reported in the Lillian, Mansfield and Irving areas.

    There is no word yet on the total number of homes and vehicles damaged by floods.

    Your Storm Photos - May 16 & 17, 2015Your Storm Photos - May 16 & 17, 2015

    National Weather Service senior meteorologist Eric Martello said parts of DFW received up to 5 inches of rain overnight. D/FW International Airport so far this year has received nearly 21 inches of rain, about 6 inches above normal.

    Down near Venus, the Kastels continued their daylong clean-up grateful to survive the early morning flood.

    "Fortunately for us God was looking over us and kept us safe," Bill said.

    Johnson County Emergency Management says it had 13 high water calls, with 8 people and 7 animals rescued. Not everyone who called was rescued.

    The Associated Press' Ken Miller and NBC 5's Todd L. Davis contributed to this report.

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