Fort Worth

Little relief from rain until weekend, forecasters say

Relief from the rain will be tough to find this week, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. But parts of Wednesday and the coming weekend might be rain-free, meteorologist Matt Bishop said.

“We’re having a pattern that’s conducive to long periods of light to moderate rain,” Bishop said. “We might see a little bit of a lull tomorrow and then it picks back up, and we might get another break this weekend.”

Meanwhile, MedStar blamed the rain for 62 injury vehicle accidents in a four-hour time span Tuesday morning from midnight to 4 a.m.

None of the injuries were life-threatening, MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said.

The Fort Worth fire department announced that it had responded to 80 vehicle accidents in the past 32 hours at about 8 a.m. Tuesday.

As of 8:30 a.m., Fort Worth first responders had yet to receive a high water rescue call. But police shut down the Interstate 30 eastbound exit ramp to Oakland Boulevard because of high water.

MedStar and Fort Worth police caution drivers to slow down, use their headlights, avoid braking suddenly, keep their eyes on the road and to turn around if they see high floodwaters.

Also threatened by the recent weather pattern are a few records.

Monday’s overnight low temperature of 41 degrees was the coldest ever recorded for the date, the weather service said. Bishop said the previous record was 42 degrees, set in 1914.

Monday’s high temperature of 49 shattered the record for the coolest high temperature for the date, which was 60 degrees set in 1923.

“We’re usually getting at least into the 60s this time of year,” Bishop said, noting that it’s normally not this cold in North Texas until November or December.

This October could easily cruise into second place for highest total rainfall, Bishop said. The wettest October ever was 1981, when 14.18 inches of rain fell in the DFW area.

In 2015’s second-rainiest October, 9.82 inches of rain fell. Through Monday, more than 9 inches of rain had already fallen this month.

Officials along both the West Fork of the Trinity River and the Brazos River are monitoring rainfall to see if the flood risk increases.

Along the Brazos River between Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Granbury, concerns remain that additional floodwater could cause problems, said Judi Pierce, a Brazos River Authority spokeswoman.

If more rain falls above Possum Kingdom Lake, it could cause the opening of the third flood gate at the PK dam, which could impact flood-prone areas like Horseshoe Bend in Parker County. So far, the rainfall totals haven’t been high enough to warrant the opening of a third flood gate.

Officials are also monitoring flows along the West Fork of the Trinity. Both Eagle Mountain Lake and Lake Worth are now full but no flooding problems are currently expected at Lake Worth.

Lake Worth was at 594.06 feet as of Tuesday but it is not expected to climb any higher than 594.7 feet unless more rain falls in the basin.

“If the lake elevation reaches 598.5 feet, major flood problems may occur along the lake shore and cause a few houses to experience flood conditions,” said Janice Thompson-Burgess, a Fort Worth spokeswoman. “Before this occurs, notifications will be made to area property owners and residents.”

At several sites across Fort Worth, rainwater entering the city sewage system caused heavily diluted wastewater to be pushed up through manhole covers.

City officials say the public drinking water supply is safe, but that residents should immediately wash thoroughly if they come into contact with the wastewater. Residents who use private wells and who live within a half-mile of a spill should distill or boil their water before use, and have their well water tested for safety, the city says.

The city is constructing a new sewer line near Sycamore Creek in south Fort Worth to increase capacity. The project is expected to take several years to complete.

Stephen English: , @sbenglish74
Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @ fwhanna
Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram