Rain soaks North Texas Sunday, more expected for Memorial Day

Benbrook Lake Marina

Marina only accessed by boat due to high lake level
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Marina only accessed by boat due to high lake level

A powerful wave of showers and thunderstorms brought tornadoes to Irving and Farmers Branch early Sunday as they soaked North Texas, knocked out power and flooded some areas.

The heavy rains delayed Sunday morning’s start of the Crowne Plaza Invitational golf tournament at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth by more three hours.

A damage survey team from the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth confirmed Sunday afternoon that two EF-1 tornadoes from morning storms caused damage in Irving and Farmers Branch at 2:34 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Straight-line winds damaged a carwash in Grand Prairie.

With lakes full and many creeks running over their banks, more rain is expected Monday afternoon, and a flash flood watch is in effect until 9 p.m.

The only chance for outdoor grilling might be be before noon Memorial Day.

“…You might make it if you do it very early in the morning,” joked Lamont Bain, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Fort Worth.

Rainfall totals were 2 inches or more Sunday in many counties. At Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, the rainfall total was 3.30 inches as of 6 p.m. Sunday, setting a record for the date, Bain said.

The old record was 3.28 inches in 1908.

Stranded motorists rescued

Johnson County officials performed six swift-water rescues from vehicles that were washed off or stranded in roadways as a result of high water, said Jamie Moore, Johnson County emergency management coordinator.

Most were between 3 and 7 a.m. in Lillian and Venus. At 12:30 a.m., Cleburne officials, with the help of Texas Military Forces, saved three people from a vehicle stuck in high water on County Road 805.

At the peak of the flooding, 15 roads were closed because of damage and high water, Moore said.

“We are pretty worn out in Johnson County,” he said. “There have been five major weather events in the past four weeks. That’s a remarkable number for any community, let alone Johnson County.”

So far this month, the airport has reported 11.45 inches of rain, the fourth-wettest May on record, according to the NWS. The record is 13.66 inches set in May 1982. This year, more than 26 inches have fallen at DFW, more than the 21.32 inches that fell in all of 2014.

Forecasters continue to put chances of rain in the forecast in the week ahead, with a 70 percent chance noon through night Monday.

Severe thunderstorms are possible Tuesday afternoon and evening, with the potential for large hail, tornadoes, strong winds and heavy rain, according to the NWS.

At 6:15 p.m. Sunday, 2,017 customers still were without power in North Texas, and most of the outages were in Dallas County. At the peak, around 8 a.m. Sunday, more than 20,000 users had no power.

Dallas faced severe flooding, with the Trinity River expected to crest near 40 feet Monday and lap at the foundations of an industrial park. The Red and Wichita rivers also rose far above flood stage.

The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth on Sunday had reports of wind damage from storms in Irving, Temple, Lakeside Village, Ovilla and Grand Prairie. Flooding was reported in Mansfield and Covington. Flash flooding damage was occurring in Irving, Lewisville, Arlington, Gunter, Waxahachie, Venus and Grand Prairie.

Authorities in Oklahoma have conducted numerous rescues of residents from flooding areas.

Lake Grapevine is over 100 percent full, according to the Texas Water Development Board. The water is nearly level with bridges along trails around the lake, and some trails are washed out entirely.

Lake Bridgeport, which was 24 feet low just a month ago, is now 94.3 percent full, according to the water development board. Farther west, Possum Kingdom Lake, which was 14 feet down a month ago, is 94.5 percent full.

The Tarrant Regional Water District, which owns and operates Lake Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain Lake, Cedar Creek Lake and the Richland-Chambers Reservoir, is also closely monitoring the situation. This is the first time all its lakes have been full since July 11, 2010.

This report contains information from The Associated Press and Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792


Lakes are full to the brim

Lake — Percent full/ height in feet above or below capacity as of 6 p.m. Sunday.

Lake Amon G. Carter 100/ 6.92

Lake Arlington 100/ 1.82

Benbrook Lake 100/ 6.43

Lake Bridgeport 94.1 -1.81

Cedar Creek Reservoir 100/ .51

Eagle Mountain Lake 100/ .77

Lake Graham 63.2/ -8.89

Lake Granbury 97.2/ -0.51

Grapevine Lake 100 /17.59

Hubbard Creek Lake 18.6/ -26.52

Joe Pool Lake 100/ 9.65

Lewisville Lake 100/ 9.43

Lake Palo Pinto 100/ -.09

Miller’s Creek Reservoir 85.8/ -1.69

Possum Kingdom Lake 94.3/ -1.83

Lake Ray Roberts 100/ 9.01

Richland-Chambers Reservoir 100/ 0.60

Lake Worth 100/ 2.09

Source: Water Data for Texas (Sunday measurements)

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