North Texans should expect continued heavy rainfall heading into Wednesday morning as the flash flood threat increases, the National Weather Service in Fort Worth warned.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex had already seen 3 to 4 inches of rain in most areas by Tuesday morning, with some parts of DFW getting as much as 10 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
The forecast called for the possibility of severe storms during the day Tuesday across North Texas, but that threat was diminishing Tuesday evening.
The weather service has a flash flood watch in effect stretching from as far west as Stephens County to Lamar County in the east and as far south as Milam County up to the Texas-Oklahoma border.
The watch is expected to continue until at least 7 p.m. Wednesday. Through Thursday, 2-6 more inches of rain can be expected across much of North and Central Texas, the weather service said on Tuesday. Locally higher amounts in excess of 8 inches will be possible.
Fort Worth’s Fire Department has called on an extra swift water rescue team to stand by in case of any emergencies, increasing the number of teams ready to respond to three.
There’s a 70% chance of rain Thursday, 60% Friday and 50% Saturday. Heavy rainfall and flooding will continue to be a possibility through the end of the work week, the weather service said. Drier and slightly warmer weather is expected Sunday and into early next week.
Stay safe during floods
The National Weather Service cautions avoiding flood waters by not driving in areas that may be flooded. Water may be deeper than it appears and cars can quickly become flooded or swept away by water on streets. If you are in a car in water or witness someone stuck in water, call 911.
Avoid being too close to creeks, streams and rivers during these storms. Flash flooding can cause water levels to quickly rise and water speeds to increase.
While road flooding is the primary concern, home flooding is a also remote possibility throughout these storms, National Weather Service Fort Worth Meteorologist Jennifer Dunn said. With the ground saturated with rain water, if a storm stalls in any one area it can result in flash flooding that could affect homes and businesses.
Seek higher ground and call 911 if you are in a building that starts to flood and get away from any water that has submerged electronics or electrical outlets as there is a risk of electrocution. Dunn said to avoid wading through waters as much as possible. Animals could be present in the water, as well as unseen sharp objects sitting at the bottom or floating around.
Dunn recommended putting on pants and boots or shoes if possible, but the primary focus should be getting to higher ground and calling for help.
If you are driving, it is important to remember that flood waters may be higher than they appear.
MedStar said in a news release anybody who is stuck in a car in flood waters who can’t call 911 should keep doors closed, unbuckle seatbelts and try to escape by rolling down a window that all occupants can use to get out. If you can’t get seatbelts off or roll a window down, cut the belt and try to break a window.
Engineer Mike Drivdahl, spokesman for the Fort Worth Fire Department, said you should immediately call 911 if possible.
Every high water or swift water emergency has to be handled differently, he said, and emergency dispatchers are trained in helping callers identify the best course of action for their situation until rescuers arrive.
Sunday tornadoes in North Texas
The National Weather Service confirmed six tornadoes Sunday, with five of them in North Texas. Survey teams evaluated the damage on Monday.
An EF-1 tornado near Northaven Road in Dallas caused major damage to one home, removing the roof and exposing the home to debris and rain water while causing minor damages to other homes and property in the area. The tornado produced 90 mph winds.
Three tornadoes in the Hill and Ellis Counties area are listed as EF-unknown by the National Weather Service. Damages and impact are still being assessed.
One EF-0 produced 75 mph winds but no major damage in in the University Park area.
Another tornado in Bell County, in Central Texas, was also an EF-0 with 75 mph winds. Several homes sustained minor damage.
3-Day Storm Outlook
This map shows the 3-day weather outlook for storms by the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center. Sources: National Weather Service, Esri.
Weather watches and warnings
A live data feed from the National Weather Service containing official weather warnings, watches, and advisory statements. Tap warning areas for more details. Sources: NOAA, National Weather Service, NOAA GeoPlatform and Esri.