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'Rare rain event' caused I-30 closure in Arlington

State transportation officials say flooding Monday night that forced the closure of Interstate 30 for more than six hours was mostly due to "a pretty rare rain event."

All six lanes of Interstate 30 at Collins Street -- an area that is under construction -- were closed from 9:15 p.m. Monday to about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"Three or four inches of rain in an hour will test any drainage system," said Val Lopez, a TxDot spokesman. "We’ve been working out there for a year and never had this problem."

As the rain fell, debris blocked storm drains, causing water to rise and cover the temporary lanes built as part of the construction project, Lopez said. The project includes the addition of three new bridges and is supposed to be completed in 2010.

TxDot workers removed the blockage from the drains, Lopez said. However, soil runoff during the flood required workers to close the interstate down to one or two lanes Tuesday while they did repairs.

Now that officials are aware the area could be flood prone during heavy rain they will be "looking for it and prepared for it," Lopez said.

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