Record-setting rainfall in Texas claims life, requires rescues and forces evacuations
By Mark Puleo, AccuWeather staff writer
September 23, 2018, 1:10:27 AM EDT
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A record-setting 24 hours of rain in North Texas has left much of the state dealing with deadly flooding. In Arlington, a young man was swept off a bridge near the University of Texas at Arlington's campus.
The young man was 23 years old and was pushed off the bridge by the rising floodwaters around 11:00 p.m., according to a call placed to campus police. Fire department spokesman Lt. Mike Joiner said rescue efforts to find the victim were difficult, as the flooded creek didn't recede for several hours.
Along with the flooded roads, numerous cities have also enacted evacuation orders to residents. In Williamson County, three areas around Brushy Creek and the San Gabriel River were evacuated because of rising river levels. Robert Chody, the Sheriff of Williamson County Sheriff, shared on Twitter early Saturday morning that numerous water rescues were made during the night, including saving a driver who was trying to swim away from his abandoned, flooded vehicle. Other rescue teams have been checking flooded vehicles for occupants.
WilCo SO water team Checking vehicles in blue hole area in Liberty Hill. pic.twitter.com/21DpAxAp15— Williamson County Sheriff Texas (@SheriffChody) September 22, 2018
AccuWeather meteorologist Isaac Longley said that rain will continue to fall through the weekend, making rescue efforts more difficult for teams.
"Over the next few days, we are expecting the heavy rain to shift eastward into parts of eastern Texas and western Arkansas," Longley said. "In cities such as Little Rock, as much as 2-5 inches of additional rain may fall, leading to localized flash flooding in some locations."
"Much of the recent rain has fallen over areas already impacted by heavy rainfall over the past few weeks," Longley said. "San Antonio, in particular, has had a very wet September thus far with over 16 inches of rain as of Sept. 22."
One of the main issues has come from river flooding. The San Gabriel River is expected to reach major flood stage, according to Williamson County Emergency Service officials. In Dallas, the White Rock Creek crested at an all-time record of 91.47 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
Extensive rainfall has caused flooding issues all month in eastern Texas. While the flooding numbers pale in comparison to what the state experienced last year from Hurricane Harvey, the rainfall totals have been unprecedented. According to AccuWeather On-Air Broadcast Meteorologist Justin Povick, the 11.54 inches of rain recorded at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport this month ranks as the wettest September on record.
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