The risk of damage from the floods was “significant,” it said, warning residents not to drive on flooded roads and move to higher elevations immediately. Flash flood warnings have also been issued for Fort Worth and Canton, Texas.
Before today’s heavy rainfall, the Dallas-Fort Worth area was in the midst of a significant drought. According to the US Drought Monitor, all of Dallas County has experienced at least extreme drought for the past three months.
At one point, Dallas had dozens of days above 100 degrees and 67 days in a row with no rain, a streak that was finally broken on Aug. 9. Now, in a shocking turnaround, August is likely to be Dallas’ wettest since 1899, The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore noted on Twitter.
The extremely dry soil, along with the rapid rainfall, together led to widespread flooding. Droughts harden the topsoil, making it difficult for them to absorb heavy precipitation.
When floods hit the Dallas area, parts of North Central and Northeast Texas were under flood controles — a warning level that is under flood warnings — until noon Central Time Monday, including Dallas, Rockwall, and Delta counties. The NWS warned of “rainfall totals from 2 to 5 inches, with isolated amounts exceeding 8 inches.”
Local news outlets and reporters shared videos of a water rescue on a flooded highway in the Dallas area, with people swimming in murky floodwaters as their vehicles lie abandoned on the side of roads with their alarms blaring.
The flood water has receded into Deep Ellum. Cars, SUVs and a police car have been flooded. Many still have alarm bells. One woman says the water was almost up to her chest, she had to swim to get to safety. I have a live update from #Dallas from 7 a.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT @accuweather pic.twitter.com/qwVKWJgXyp
— Bill Wadell (@BillWadell) August 22, 2022
The NWS warned of the potential of “life-threatening flash flooding from creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses” in the area subject to a flood watch, including major cities such as Plano and Fort Worth.
The agency had warned that floods was possible early this week when “heavy rain on dry ground” caused runoff.
Cities across Texas faced near-record high temperatures and drought last month, causing severe precipitation shortages. But the heavy rainfall across parts of the state until Monday may not bring enough relief, the NWS warned.
In Monday’s forecast, the NWS predicted additional “showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 4 p.m..” the storms can cause heavy rain.”
The weather is expected to improve by the end of the week, the agency said, with the greatest chance of further thunderstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Matthew Cappucci contributed to this report.