Heavy rainfall and flash floods have inundated the Dallas area of Texas, turning streets into rivers of water and submerging cars as rain continues to lash the southwestern US
Showers started Sunday evening as part of a “multi-day heavy rainfall event” in northern Texas, with two to five inches of rain expected, along with isolated pockets of over 8 inches possible, according to the National Weather Service.
In the Dallas area, 7.8 inches of rain was recorded in just three hours, marking the highest rate of rainfall in the deluge so far. Overall, nearly 10 inches of rain has been recorded on the east side of Dallas. If the Dallas Fort-Worth area records over 10.33 inches of rain, it’ll be the wettest August on record.
The rain is expected to shift towards the lower Mississippi Valley later in the week, according to the weather service.
Jarring photos and videos on social media show streets overwhelmed with water and cars submerged in window-high floods.
In videos shared online, the I-30 freeway could be seen swollen with water, with tractor trailer trucks and cars halted and some partially submerged early Monday in downtown Dallas, well before morning rush hour.
“I’ve been here over an hour… I almost made it home,” Jimmy Dede Mccoy said in a video livestreamed on Facebook before 4 am Monday. “Everybody’s already out of their cars stuck. That’s (the I-30) though, towards downtown. Looks like a river.”
A flood watch is in effect through Monday at noon local time for areas along north of the Interstate 20 in the Dallas Fort-Worth area. An additional flood watch is in effect for areas south of the highway through 7 pm Monday, according to N.W.S..
“Rain continues to fall with dangerous flash flooding currently ongoing across Dallas County! AVOID getting out on the roads if possible!” the weather service tweeted early Monday.
The weather service warned locals to avoid driving through flooded or barricaded roads, stay out of areas subject to flooding and take alternate routes to work Monday morning, sharing the phrase “Turn around don’t drown.”
The Dallas Police Department also tweeted early Monday “Please avoid roads if possible. Emergency services are asking everyone to be safe.”
The rainfall brings some much needed respite to drought-hit Texas, as the Dallas Fort-Worth area has been nearly 17 inches below normal rainfall over the past 12 months, according to N.W.S..
Dallas just had its second longest dry streak with 67 days of no rain from June to early August. The latest deluge has wiped out nearly 70% of the area’s 2022 rainfall deficit year to date.
Thirteen million people remain under flood alerts Monday morning from Texas to west Mississippi.
The deluge comes as 18 million were under flood alerts over the weekend across the Southwest, stretching from from Arizona to New Mexico to Texas.
Heavy rains have been pouring down on some of America’s driest areas in recent weeks.
In Tucson, Arizona, fire crews rescued 21 adults and a baby over a river canyon full of rushing water on Aug. 12. In California’s Death Valley National Park, flash flooding stranded 1,000 people in early August.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism