Tarrant County

Fort Worth First Responders Answer High Water Calls, Stalled Cars Amid Heavy Rain

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First responders in Fort Worth were busy Tuesday as more heavy rain prompted high water in some areas and stalled cars.

According to the Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management, water began to pool in many areas early Tuesday. The on-ramp from Lancaster Avenue to southbound U.S. Highway 287 was closed due to high water around 10:30 a.m. and reopened by 3:30 p.m., Fort Worth police tweeted Tuesday afternoon.

Kenton Carney of Fort Worth said he was driving to a friend’s house when his car stalled in the middle of a flooded roadway near Trimble Drive and Thompson Street. Carney said he could see the road was flooded, but he underestimated how deep it was until it was too late.

“I’m embarrassed, really. It’s embarrassing,” he said. “It was one of those moments where at first, I couldn’t even think. Then I was like, I did this to myself.”

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Carney said he first called his friend before calling 911 and police arrived about five minutes later.

Tamra Bass said she has lived along Trimble Drive for about eight years and said the street is prone to flooding, as they live by a creek that swells during heavy rain.

“We’ve had it one year where this entire field was underwater,” Bass said. “Every time it rains, it gets like this.”

Mike Drivdahl, a spokesperson for the Fort Worth Fire Department, said the department has responded to several weather-related incidents recently. All of the incidents ended safely, Drivdahl said.

“What’s really difficult is people always ask, ‘What are the problem areas?’ The problem areas can be anywhere in the city. Anywhere we get a lot of rain really fast,” he said.

The Fort Worth Fire Department has two swift-water dive rescue teams that are staffed 24/7 year-round. They train throughout all year in order to maintain certifications, with an extra team on standby as needed over the past week and a half.

The teams came to the rescue Monday night as they saved a driver in a ‘complicated’ rescue, Drivdahl said.

“The driver had been in the water for probably 30, 40 minutes hanging onto a tree. Very tired, obviously. We did have to put our swift water team in the water. Anytime you do that, there’s an element of danger,” he said.

The woman's minivan was swept away by the floodwaters near the intersection of Bent Oak Drive and Wagley Robertson Road. The water swept her down a creek roughly 400 yards, Drivdahl said.

“Extremely lucky she was not hurt any worse than she was. We definitely could have been talking about a recovery versus a rescue,” he said. “What people need to understand is, it absolutely can happen to you.”

Because there’s always an element of risk for anyone involved in a rescue, Drivdahl said prevention is key. Emergency officials say if you’re unsure of how deep water is, it’s best to stay away.

In Johnson County, floodwaters that caused problems Monday night and Tuesday morning receded during the day.

In Johnson County, floodwaters that caused problems Monday night and Tuesday morning receded during the day. The high water caused damage to vehicles and other structures.

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