Texas

Soggy Horseshoe Bend looks nervously toward cloudy skies

North Texas flooding: aerial footage of the devastation

WFAA helicopters capture the flooding in Parker County, Lake Granbury and Horseshoe Bend.
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WFAA helicopters capture the flooding in Parker County, Lake Granbury and Horseshoe Bend.

Flash flooding forced numerous high water-rescues overnight in Hood County and officials were bracing for more rain as storms were expected to move in from Central Texas later Thursday.

“I'm nervous about it to tell you the truth,” said Hood County Judge Darrell Cockerham. “We had that storm start pouring and just hang over us. It seemed like it would never stop.”

Decordova Bend Estates was hit hard, Cockerham said, with Texas Task Force One making high water rescues.

“We had one woman who suddenly had three feet of water in her home,” Cockerham said. “We would have been overwhelmed without those state resources.”

Gov. Greg Abbott will be in Granbury for a 4:30 p.m. news conference to discuss the flooding.

Further upstream, floodwaters appeared to be cresting Thursday morning at the flood-prone Horseshoe Bend area. It was projected to crest at 26.61 feet, which is just below major flood level, and more than two feet less than was originally forecast.

“That's still a serious flood, but it looks like we got some good news this morning,” said Joel Kertok, a Parker County spokesman. “We're not out of the woods yet, with more rain in the forecast.”

The heavy rainfall is forcing the Brazos River Authority to release water from Possum Kingdom Lake into the Brazos. From the lake, the Brazos goes through Parker and Hood counties before reaching Lake Granbury, where floodgates are also open.

The Brazos River Authority will have to open a third flood gate at Possum Kingdom Lake at some point either today or Friday, said Judi Pierce, a BRA spokeswoman.

She said releases were increased from Lake Granbury to 57,700 cubic feet per second last night after the area got hit by flash flooding.

Horseshoe Bend resident Bart Salter, who owns 13 rental houses in in the rural subdivision, said even though the river isn't as high as predicted, he remains worried about more rain and additional releases from Possum Kingdom.

“This isn't over just yet,” Salter said. “If it starts raining again, it could get a whole lot worse.”

The BRA has been criticized by many Horseshoe Bend residents for the repeated floods over the last year but Kertok said they deserve some credit for handling the flood.

“I think the BRA has done a good job of managing the system and preventing the flooding from being much worse,” Kertok said.

Hood County received 1.71 inches of precipitation from 7 a.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. today, National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop said.

In Parker County, where officials have urged voluntary evacuations, (see complete story here), Annetta South got 1.41 inches during the 24-hour period, Bishop said.

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport had 0.4 inches, he said.

Elsewhere in North Texas, Bowie saw the most rain at 3.64 inches, Bishop said, and further north U.S. 287 was closed from Brown Road to Cline Road in Clay County, east of Wichita Falls.

Thursday will stay cloudy with a 70 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms and heavy rainfall likely, according to the NWS website. Highs will reach the upper 70s.

Chances stay at 70 percent overnight with showers and thunderstorms likely, according to the site.

Showers and thunderstorms are likely Friday, with chances hitting 60 percent, and highs reaching the upper 70s.

Saturday will start cloudy, then clear up and become partly sunny. Highs will reach the mid 80s, and chances for rain for drop to 50 percent.

The sun will return Sunday, with highs reaching the mid-80s and skies staying mostly clear, according to the NWS website.

Horseshoe Bend, on the Brazos River, is threatened by floodwaters again, the second time this year, frustrating residents and damaging homes and property.

Parker County Technical Rescue personnel brought Elizabeth and Tim Jenkins from their Horseshoe Bend home to higher ground

Heavy rains and rising lake levels at Possum Kingdom has water roaring over Sheppard Dam and down the Brazos River.

Reporter Dylan Bradley contributed to this report, which contains material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Judy Wiley: 817-390-7843, @judygwiley; Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

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