DALLAS (AP) — Heavy rains across the drought-stricken Dallas-Fort Worth area on Monday caused streets to flood, submerging vehicles as officials warned motorists to stay off the roads and water seeped into some homes and businesses.
“The Dallas-Fort Worth area was pretty much ground zero for the heaviest rain overnight,” said Daniel Huckaby, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The official National Weather Service record station at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport reported 9.02 inches of rain in the 24 hours ending at noon Monday. That ranked second for the top 10 most rain over 24 hours in Dallas on record. The most was 9.57 inches that fell Sept. 4-5, 1932.
Emergency responders across the area reported responding to dozens of high-water calls. In Tarrant County, MedStar had responded to 23 weather-related traffic accidents by 6 a.m. By noon, nearly 8 1/2 inches of rain had fallen in Fort Worth, according to KXAS Channel 5.
The weather caused hundreds of delays and cancellations in and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and at Dallas Love Field.
“We’ve been in drought conditions, so the ground soaked up a lot of it but when you get that much rain over that short a period of time, it’s certainly going to cause flooding, and that’s what we saw, definitely in the urban areas here,” Huckaby said.
Huckaby said the flooding started overnight on streets and interstates.
“It fell very, very quickly,” Huckaby said. “We had some locations there in Dallas that had more than 3 inches of rain even in one hour.” He noted that with so much concrete in urban areas, “there’s just only so much that the drain systems can handle.”
The heavy rain was expected to move out of the Dallas-Fort Worth area later Monday, Huckaby said.