By the time Tropical Storm Bill crept into North Texas, it had become just a tropical disturbance that wasn’t nearly as strong as predicted for Dallas-Fort Worth.
But it caused plenty of problems in Wise and Montague counties that were expected to continue into Thursday morning.
At Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, Wednesday’s 2.21 inches of rain set a record for the day. For the entire rain event, which started Tuesday evening, 2.34 inches fell.
But Wise County got 6.60 inches of rain in 24 hours, said Dan Huckaby, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office.
In Chico, about 20 people had to be rescued from vehicles caught in flash flooding, WFAA reported.
Lake Bridgeport rose rapidly Wednesday, forcing the closure of eight county roads when it rose more than 2 feet above normal, according to the Tarrant Regional Water District’s Lake Level Blog. The lake was closed to boaters and recreational activities at 6 p.m.
In Tarrant County, Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Worth were closed to boaters. Water district officials got calls from property owners about large trees floating, said Rachel Ickert, water resources director with the TRWD.
The lake was about 10 inches above normal, and that number was expected to jump 2 more feet by morning.
“We will just have to watch and re-evaluate tomorrow and every day after,” Ickert said late Wednesday.
The public was urged to use “extreme caution” near the lakes over the weekend.
At 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8,100 Oncor customers were without power in Dallas and Fort Worth, said Connie Piloto, an Oncor spokeswoman. She could not give an update on when the power would be restored.
“We will working around the clock to restore power,” Piloto said.
Hundreds of flights were delayed at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on Wednesday.
According to Flightstats.com, 516 arrivals and 588 departures were delayed and more than 283 flights had been canceled as of 5:30 p.m.
In Johnson County
Johnson County authorities closed three road roads because of rising water, but the swift-water rescue crews and National Guard reservists who were on standby much of the day were never called into action, said Jamie Moore, the county’s emergency management coordinator.
“I think that the week of no rain gave us a little wiggle room to deal with this,” Moore said.
County Road 528 in Lillian was closed because of high water and uprooted trees that were left behind by higher water earlier in the day. Moore said the road would remain closed until Thursday morning, when the trees could be moved. The other two roads reopened Wednesday.
In Wise and Montague
Officials will closely watch Texas 114 and U.S. 380 near Bridgeport for the possibility of flooding Thursday morning.
“If the rain would just slow down, the roads not along the Trinity River would be OK,” said Wise County Sheriff David Walker, who had received 4.52 inches at his house in Bridgeport by mid-afternoon Wednesday. “But it looks like it doesn’t want to stop. I’ve seen wind gusts close to 40 mph at my house.”
The weather service called the flash flooding in Wise and Montague counties “life-threatening” Wednesday night.
Montague County had had 8.34 inches of rain since Wednesday morning, and the flash flood warning wasn’t expected to expire until Thursday morning, Huckaby said.
“There are certainly going to be a lot of flooded roads with as much rain as they had,” he said.
Nacona has recorded 9.20 inches of rain since midnight Tuesday.
A flash flood warning was issued for Cooke County until 3 a.m. Thursday.
Lakes on the rise
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was monitoring levels at its eight DFW area lakes — Benbrook, Grapevine, Joe Pool, Lewisville, Ray Roberts, Lavon, Bardwell and Navarro Mills.
“All are rising except Benbrook and Lewisville,” said Clay Church, a Corps spokesman, said Wednesday afternoon.
While flood gauge levels rose in Dallas County, most Corps lakes avoided the deluges that were predicted.
Forecasters on Tuesday had predicted that North Texas could receive between 6 and 12 inches of rain, which, coming after the wettest May on record, would have resulted in widespread flooding.
Because of rains over the weekend and on Tuesday, the Brazos River Authority opened one gate at Possum Kingdom Lake.
That caused the Brazos River to rise to 12.3 feet at the river gauge at Dennis in Parker County. But the river is expected to stay well below its flood stage of 21 feet.
Last month, the Brazos flooded parts of the low-lying Horseshoe Bend in Parker County.
Staff writers Andrea Ahles, Robert Cadwallader and Dustin Dangli contributed to this report.
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698
Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792