Unexpected heavy rains — more than 8 inches in one area — pounded Hood County and other parts of North Texas on Sunday, forcing evacuations and stranding motorists.
About 18 people had to leave their homes in the Sunchase Acres Addition in east Granbury, where the rainfall total was about 6 inches, Hood County Emergency Management Coordinator Ray Wilson said. He said other homes were reportedly flooded in the Quail Park Addition, also in east Granbury.
Richard Helton was one of those who evacuated a home in Granbury. He said that one minute floodwaters were at the edge of his back yard and 20 minutes later they were at the back door of his mobile home.
“That’s when I grabbed the kids and out we went,” Helton said Sunday in a telephone interview. Outside, he said, “The water was waist-deep.”
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Helton, his three kids and his wife got away and were staying at La Quinta Inn in Granbury on Sunday evening.
“I don’t have anything in my back yard,” he said. “My barbecue grill, two Jet Skis and the trailer they were in are gone. A swing set that I built is shattered.”
Rescue crews also plucked an unknown number of motorists from stranded vehicles in Granbury, and residents were reported trapped in homes elsewhere.
No serious injuries were reported. American Red Cross officials were on the scene to assist families.
Hood County Judge Darrell Cockerham said the area was caught by surprise. The chance for rain was 30 percent.
“When I got up Sunday morning, my rain gauge had about an inch and a half,” Cockerham said Sunday. “We got wet going to church and I just figured it would be over by the time we got out, but it was still raining when we left.”
By Sunday afternoon, he had already dumped out his rain gauge once, and it measures 5 1/2 inches.
“Sometimes it would be a steady rain, and then it would just come down in waves,” Cockerham said.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings Sunday afternoon for several counties south and southwest of Fort Worth.
The top rainfall total recorded Sunday was 8.5 inches south of Glen Rose, which is about 16 miles south of Granbury.
In the Hood County area, rainfall totals were 3.5 inches in Hideaway Bay Estates, 3 inches in Acton and almost 3 inches in Pecan Plantation, according to the Hood County News website.
“These turned into very slow showers and storms that dropped a lot of rain,” meteorologist Jason Dunn of the National Weather Service in Fort Worth said Sunday. “June and July are dry months, but it’s fairly common to see days when we get a lot of rain at one time.”
In Tarrant County, soaking rainfall totals were reported. The TCU area recorded an inch, the Riverside neighborhood had 1.53 inches, and 1.20 inches was reported in the Western Hills neighborhood. Crowley had 2.0 inches and Pantego recorded 1.3 inches. Some neighborhoods of Arlington got 2 inches. Dallas/Fort Worth Airport recorded 0.59 inch Sunday.
North Texans should prepare for the possibility of a wet week. Chances for rain today and Tuesday are 40 percent, dropping to 30 percent Wednesday and 20 percent Thursday.
“Deep moisture conditions will exist all week,” Dunn said. “So you may have a 30 percent chance of rain and you get 10 inches of rain.”
Daytime temperatures will be in the high 80s to lower 90s, and North Texans should wake up to morning temperatures in the mid-70s all week.