After two days of record rainfall at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Saturday’s total didn’t threaten to make it a three in a row.
But the 7.54 inches recorded from Thursday to Saturday was the most in a three-day stretch since 1991, bringing the 2015 total to 46.64 inches. That’s good for the seventh-wettest year on record with more than two months to go.
South and east of the Metroplex, however, torrential rains flooded interstates and were blamed for a Union Pacific train derailment near Corsicana. Interstate 45 at Corsicana remained closed Saturday night after it reopened briefly Saturday morning, the Texas Department of Transportation reported.
In Waco, despite steady rain Saturday, the day was remarkably stress-free, according to police, who were ready for widespread flooding after Friday’s record-breaking downpour, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. The National Weather Service said rainfall from 11 a.m. Friday to 11 a.m. Saturday measured 8.93 inches at Waco Regional Airport, breaking a 1997 24-hour record of 7.98 inches.
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Emergency responders in San Antonio continued their search for a man who was swept away in a flooded drainage ditch while walking a dog early Saturday. Authorities say the dog was walking close to the canal when the man, while trying to pull the pet back, fell into the water. The dog was safely retrieved.
The Fort Worth area had a 70 percent chance of showers Saturday night, which drops to 50 percent Sunday. Then the real drying-out can begin with a short-term forecast of fall-like weather with highs in the 70s. Another storm system could bring more rain by Thursday or Friday, however.
This was a rare event.
David Marshall, director of engineering and operations support for the Trinity River Water District
19.39 inches of rain recorded at Corsicana’s airport
On Saturday morning, the Corsicana airport had recorded 19.39 inches of rain, and some other Navarro County sites reported more than 20 inches where heavy rain was still falling.
“That’s a rare event, something you usually don’t see unless it’s associated with a tropical system making landfall,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh.
Jeff DeGraff, a Union Pacific spokesman, said the two-person crew on the derailed and partially submerged train was rescued at about 5:45 a.m. near Chambers Creek, about 4 miles north of Corsicana.
The 64-car train was carrying a load of concrete from Midlothian to Houston when the crew spotted high water on the tracks.
“We had track inspectors in that area approximately an hour before, and they had deemed it passable and clear,” DeGraff said. “The crew spotted water over the track and initiated an emergency stop, but by the time they stopped the train they were in the water. Then the water kept rising. It was a flash flood.”
Later Saturday, DeGraff said that the 19 cars still on the track had been pulled out but that crews were still trying to remove the overturned cars.
“We’re still working on it, and a whole lot of work is left to be done,” he said.
We’re still working on it, and a whole lot of work is left to be done
Jeff DeGraff, a
The record rainfall will affect lakes that provide water to Tarrant County.
Much of the floodwater was rushing into the Richland-Chambers Reservoir, owned by the Tarrant Regional Water District. The reservoir’s elevation topped the previous record of 317.6 feet, said David Marshall, the water district’s director of engineering and operations support. “This was a rare event,” he said.
Marshall said the Cedar Creek Reservoir will also fill and begin to dump water over the spillway. The Army Corps of Engineers’ Navarro Mills reservoir has climbed about 12 feet since the rains began.
In Fort Worth, firefighters recorded 32 stranded vehicles and high-water rescue calls from 8 a.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday, Lt. Greg Russell said. Multiple vehicles were stranded for a time at Hulen Street and Interstate 30 and at Interstate 35W and Northeast 28th Street; road closures were also reported in North Richland Hills.
About 8,460 customers went without power Saturday morning, including about 1,400 in Tarrant County, according to Oncor. That number was down to about 450 in Tarrant County late Saturday.
Staff writer Mark David Smith contributed to this report, which includes material from The Associated Press.
By the numbers
46.64 inches of rain so far this year at DFW Airport, making 2015 the seventh-wettest on record
29.86 inches is the normal rainfall through Oct. 24
7.54 inches fell at DFW Airport from Thursday to Saturday, the wettest three-day period since October 1991, when 8.07 inches fell
10.72 inches is the wettest three-day spell in North Texas recorded history, occurring in April 1922
Source: National Weather Service Fort Worth