Texas Governor declares a state of disaster in 18 counties in central and south Texas as severe flooding hits the state
This has become a record-breaking fall for rainfall and it shows no sign of letting up.
It’s already the wettest autumn on record for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The fall season is from September until November.
Storms have dropped 23.31 inches so far, and the autumn season is only half over, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
The rainfall total for October also is among the wettest on record. Dallas/Fort Worth Airport has recorded 10.62 inches of rain for the month, and the record is 14.18 set in 1981, according to NWS statistics.
While forecasters are predicting a break this weekend, rainy conditions are expected to stick around until November. The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14-day outlook shows above-normal precipitation for Texas through Oct. 30.
“There does seem to be favorable signals through end of the month into November that the precipitation will continue,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Jennifer Dunn. “However, it appears more fronts will be coming through where the rain moves through more quickly rather than sticking around all week.”
The current rainy spell will last through Friday night or Saturday morning. It appears there will be three more rounds before then.
“We’ll be dry overnight but then another round of rain’s coming Thursday,” Dunn said.
Heavier rainfall is expected to be west of the Interstate 35 corridor possibly bringing problems along the Trinity and Brazos rivers.
One area forecasters will be watching closely over the next several days is the low-lying Horseshoe Bend in Parker County.
Judi Pierce, a Brazos River Authority spokeswoman, said Possum Kingdom can handle the current flows without opening a third flood gate.
“However, another 3-5 inches are in the forecast,” Pierce said. “Opening a third flood gate has not been ruled out but that is dependent on how much rain falls.”
Wednesday night, Pierce said the River Authority will review whether or not to open the third flood gate on Thursday morning. If 1-3 more inches of rain were to fall across the entire Brazos River Watershed, they would consider opening the gate.
If rainfall upstream forces the Brazos River Authority to open a third flood gate at the Possum Kingdom Lake Dam, it could impact that area.
“We’re not anticipating any new flash flooding issues,” Dunn said. “The main concerns will be along our rivers and streams.”
Forecasters are also closely monitoring the Trinity River from Dallas to Navarro County.
Area lakes are swollen. As of Wednesday morning, the lake level at Joe Pool Lake was at 532.15 feet compared to the normal level of 522 feet. At Grapevine Lake, it was at 541.68 feet compared to its normal level of 535. Benbrook Lake was at 698.66 feet compared to its normal of 694.
The popular Oasis restaurant on Joe Pool Lake was reported flooded. The building is built lower than the “full” level of 536 feet, said Clay Church, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers.
“We don’t like to see anyone suffer a loss, but that business is there at a flood control reservoir, and that lake is functioning as designed,” Church said.
Oasis previously flooded in the spring of 2015.
Officials don’t expect flooding problems at Lake Worth or Eagle Mountain Lake.
In Haltom City, Assistant City Manager Rex Phelps said residents who are experiencing flooding can pick up sand bags at the Public Works building at 4200 Hollis Street.
Rain chances are in the forecast until Friday with daytime temperatures in the upper 50s for the next several days. Morning temperatures will be in the 50s.
There’s an 80 percent chance of rain on Thursday followed by a 70 percent chance on Friday.
Forecasters don’t have any rain chances for the weekend.
Staff writer Elizabeth Campbell contributed to this report.