Two days after the rain stopped falling the flooding continued Monday — from one end of Texas to the other.
“From above Lake Bridgeport, all the way to the Gulf Coast, it's all the Trinity can stand,” said David Marshall, the Tarrant Regional Water District’s director of engineering and operations support.
At an overflowing Lake Bridgeport, where water is being released downstream into the West Fort of the Trinity River, some homes at the lake are flooded as well as numerous Wise County roads and parts of the town of Bridgeport. The U.S. 380 bridge that spans the lake is closed because one of its entrances is flooded.
In the southern part of Bridgeport water was backing up from the Trinity along Turkey Creek into low-lying areas, forcing the closing of Texas 114 in the town 50 miles northwest of Fort Worth.
“The worst part is trying to get the truck traffic around town,” said Bridgeport Police Chief Randy Singleton.
The water being released from Lake Bridgeport is now reaching Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Worth. As those lakes rise, one Eagle Mountain Lake home has been flooded and three Lake Worth homes are threatened.
“I'm afraid we're probably going to get into those Lake Worth houses,” Marshall said. “If we do, it’s just going to be by inches.”
Lake Worth is owned by the city of Fort Worth and lake marshals have been trying to keep in contact with the homeowners, said Mary Gugliuzza, a Fort Worth water department spokeswoman.
“We have tried to stay in touch with these folks for the last couple of weeks since we stopped all recreational activity on May 21,” Gugliuzza said. “There were concerns back then that boat wakes might get water into these homes.”
Flooding in Dallas and beyond
Despite the concerns of flooding along Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Bridgeport, the Fort Worth area was seeing far less flooding than Dallas County.
While three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control lakes — Ray Roberts, Lewisville and Grapevine — were releasing water downstream, Benbrook Lake wasn’t releasing any water and still had room to hold more floodwater.
Water being released from Grapevine Lake, where high lake levels have closed roads, parks and boat ramps, is going downstream along Denton Creek into the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, exactly where water flowing over the Lewsiville Lake spillway was headed.
“You've got this water flowing in through downtown Dallas from different forks of the Trinity,” said Clay Church, a spokesman for the Fort Worth District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Over the weekend, Lewisville Lake reached a record level of 537.02. At 537 feet, it had the potential to flood about 1,000 homes around the lake. Officials were trying to determine how many homeowners actually had water inside their residences.
As the water moves through the Dallas area flooding remains a concern, from the northwest part of the city to inundated sections of the Trinity near the Anderson-Freestone county line.
‘We dodged a bullet’
One place where water was receding was in Parker County’s Horseshoe Bend, where residents were allowed back in Sunday.
The rural neighborhood that’s surrounded by the Brazos River on three sides saw the water rise twice over the last week and cause flooding, but it wasn’t as bad as what had been projected.
“We dodged a bullet,” said Parker County spokesman Joel Kertok.
But Bart Salter, who lives in Horseshoe Bend and owns a number of rental properties in the area, said the floodwaters still caused plenty of problems.
“There’s a lot of trashy stuff underneath houses,” Salter said. “We’ve still got water in some of the back streets and the mosquitoes are everywhere. And I just killed a three-foot water moccasin in front of my house.”
Despite not being as bad as 2007 when the last major flood occurred, Salter said water got in “quite a few homes,” meaning the cleanup will take some time.
“It’s not real major for most folks but for some, it got pretty close to 2007,” Salter said. “They’re going to have a lot to deal with.”
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698
Dry conditions are expected to stick around for the next week — temperatures could hit 90 by the weekend — but it will take weeks for lakes to get back to normal levels.
State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said one forecast projection has Texas being one of the driest spots in the nation over the first half of June.
Though the Climate Prediction Center continues to show Texas having above-normal precipitation for the next month and long-range outlooks continue to project a wetter-than-normal year, Nielsen-Gammon joked that the next dry spell might be right around the corner.
“Maybe it’s the start of our next drought,” Nielsen-Gammon said.