Fourth day of rain drenches parts of Tarrant County

06/25/2014 9:27 AM

06/25/2014 10:17 PM

For the fourth straight day, downpours soaked parts of drought-stricken North Texas on Wednesday, causing flash flooding that forced Arlington amusement parks to shut down and police to close Cooper Street for a while.

Arlington dispatchers received several calls for help with high water, but unlike Tuesday afternoon in Fort Worth, there were no serious rescues.

“We had some roadway flooding but nothing severe,” said Bill McQuatters, Arlington assistant fire chief. “The high water on the roadways did cause some issues for motorists who drove through too fast and stalled their cars. No major high-water rescues — water never got that deep.”

Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor were closed but are scheduled to reopen at 10:30 a.m. today.

“Our rides are typically unaffected by adverse weather conditions and water recedes quickly after a heavy rain,” spokeswoman Sharon Parker said in a statement. “Per our standard safety procedures, all rides will be thoroughly inspected prior to re-opening.”

Thousands of customers lost power during the day, but by 8:30 p.m., outages had declined to 800, mostly in Arlington, an Oncor spokesman said.

A city spokeswoman said that two trees had to be cut down and that two downed power lines were repaired.

Power was out for about 75 minutes at the Arlington Convention Center.

The official record will show that 1.07 inches of rain fell at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Wednesday. That brought the official rainfall total for June to 3.26 inches. The normal for the month is 3.79 inches, meteorologist Joe Harris said.

“The end of the world is not here yet,” Harris joked.

Although they’re unofficial, the weather service also recorded these rainfall amounts: Arlington Airport, 0.05 inch; Dallas Love Field, 0.47 inch; Alliance Airport, 1.62 inches; and Meacham Airport, 1.3 inches.

Blue Mound/Saginaw was drenched with 3 to 4 inches, Harris said.

With five days left in June, it’s doubtful that we will get to “normal.” The forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon, but mostly to the east. By Friday, the chance drops to 20 percent.

“The stuff will be moving out, and we should be dry across the region,” Harris said.

DFW Airport had 63 flight cancellations Wednesday, and airlines reported 17 diversions because of weather, spokeswoman Cynthia Vega said.

In Fort Worth, a woman working at her computer was shocked through her keyboard during a lightning strike about 4 p.m. near her home in the 8000 block of Cannonwood Drive.

“There was a lightning strike in the area, and she felt a power surge come though her computer keyboard,” MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said.

She was not hospitalized, he said.

Arlington first responders got 15 flooding-related calls Wednesday, compared with 42 for the Fort Worth Fire Department on Tuesday.

Aftermath of Tuesday’s flooding

One of the areas hit hard Tuesday was Fort Worth’s south side, where the WineHaus wine boutique and bar was heavily damaged by raging floodwaters.

Lindsey Crawford, 28, opened the European-themed bar in October on Park Place and, until Tuesday, lived above it. She said she was about to close when the storm literally knocked her door down just after 5 p.m.

“I felt some leaking in the vent in my sink room, right behind the bar, where I wash my glasses and store things,” said Crawford, who was about to close because the storm water had flooded the street in front of her business.

“I called my boyfriend, then thought I should go upstairs and check. Within seconds, the door at the bottom of the stairs burst open and water came pouring out.”

Crawford didn’t hesitate.

“I grabbed my puppy and my purse and took off,” she said.

Splintered roof joists, drywall and mushy insulation in Crawford’s apartment created a scene out of a disaster movie.

“It’s devastating,” she said. “It looks like a hurricane up there. The sheer force of the water coming through got everything wet that it didn’t destroy. There’s every kind of mess you can imagine.”

On Wednesday morning, she was dealing with the devastation one detail at a time.

“Today I’m waiting for the insurance adjuster,” Crawford said. “We’ve got to get the hole in the upstairs covered because there’s more rain coming.”

Crawford is counting her blessings: Harpo, her Great Dane, and Gigandos, the French bulldog puppy, weren’t hurt.

“I intend to reopen here, and I likely will still live here,” she said. “Once the building is secure and clean, being able to get my things back in there will be done quickly.”

A few miles away on the south side, a Wal-Mart store at West Berry and Hemphill streets remained closed Wednesday after Tuesday’s storms turned the intersection into a small lake, according to TV news reports. Wal-Mart officials could not be reached for comment.

Benefit to lakes

The rain did a little to help area lakes.

Tarrant County lakes and those that supply water to the county rose slightly.

Reservoirs such as Lake Arlington, Lake Worth, Eagle Mountain Lake, Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Cedar Creek Reservoir and Benbrook Lake all saw gains of several inches while Lake Bridgeport gained about a tenth of an inch. But Lake Grapevine actually dropped slightly.

“What’s happening right now is keeping demands down,” said Chad Lorance, a spokesman for the Tarrant Regional Water District. “Most people probably don’t need to water outdoors for at least another week.”

Staff writers Domingo Ramirez Jr. and Terry Evans contributed to this report.

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