Flooding in Texas and Oklahoma from heavy rains has forced many out of their homes, and more rain is in the forecast. The floods were so bad that a firefighter was carried off by the dangerous waters and another was swept away while he was attempting to help civilians early Sunday. Between Oklahoma and Texas, there were over 61,000 customers who lost power when the lines were knocked down. Some residents were trapped on rooftops as they tried to get to higher ground.
The Weather Channel announced that over 25,000 people in Austin, Texas, lost power Saturday night. More rains were supposed to come with a vengeance to both states, however the rainfall on Sunday in Denton, Texas, was not as bad as the previous days. The flooding continued, due to heavier rains, in the Wichita Falls area.
Oklahoma issued a state of emergency in over 40 counties, in addition to flood warnings and watches across the state. Several roads and houses were affected by dangerous flooding. Elk city had flooding that left 30 people homeless. The National Weather service put out warnings advising people to not take any chances, and to avoid water-covered roads.
North Texas was already receiving dangerous flooding when Cardwell county was declared a state of emergency. There was a mandatory evacuation for countryside homes and in-line areas. Over 900 homes in North Texas, were ordered to evacuate. The local sheriff was called in to make sure that people were headed to safer places.
In Texas, the San Marcus River reached record-high levels of almost 40 feet, and the Blanco River rose over 30 feet in three hours, which broke a record set in 1929 by about six feet. Residents were reportedly trapped on rooftops to avoid the flooding. In Hays county, several people needed to be rescued from the fast-moving waters.
The San Antonio river rose nine feet in just 15 minutes, and Wichita Falls in North Texas was ordered to evacuate, but only for residents that live on the Eastern side of the river. The river was expected to rise between one and three feet.
Tornado watches were in effect for North Texas and Oklahoma Saturday night. One large tornado was confirmed in Oklahoma, and several others were reported within the state.
The forecast called for thunderstorms well into the week for the plains of Texas and Mississippi, with a chance of tornadoes. However, flooding is the primary concern, and one to three more inches are expected to fall during the week in Texas, Kansas, and Missouri, and certain areas could see up to five inches more. Rain is forecast all week in North Texas, with thunderstorms coming again later in the week.
Three to five inches of rain is expected Tuesday in Texas. Mandatory evacuation in parts of North Texas were issued due to dangerous flooding. There were hundreds of homes destroyed when a bridge was wiped out in Hays county. Lake Texicoma is holding 35 billion gallons more water than its ability. The flash flooding in Texas and Oklahoma continues with more rain on the way. It is estimated over 1,000 homes were demolished, and there was one confirmed death.
By Katherine Miller-Chichester
Weather.com: Denton weather forecast
MSNBC: Flooding hits Oklahoma and Texas, with more bad weather on the way
Weather.com: Live Updates: Tornado watches issued; Major Flood wave rolls downstream in Texas
Photo Courtesy of Angela (Angie) Accarino’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License