Hundreds Flee Texas’ Worst Flood in Years
Lakes surged over their dams, rivers swelled and highways closed Thursday as a result of Texas’ worst rain in decades.
Although the rainfall eased, forecasters warned that rising water threatened more damage. Hundreds of residents around Dallas and Ft. Worth have been chased from their flooded homes.
Eight people were injured when a tornado ripped through Paris in northeast Texas, demolishing a nightclub, flipping vehicles, uprooting trees and tearing up roofs.
Five of the injured were in the nightclub. Their injuries were minor, said Dick Boots of the Paris emergency office.
Flooding also was widespread in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Three people have been killed by rains that have lashed Texas since Tuesday.
Vice President Dan Quayle, in town to stump for Republican state candidates, toured a hard-hit neighborhood in south Dallas and promised distraught residents that federal aid would be expedited.
Water covered roads in almost every county in the path of the storm Thursday, including U.S. 175, a major Dallas freeway that was closed during the morning rush hour.
The west fork of the Trinity River, which flows through Ft. Worth and Dallas, was 6 feet over flood stage and rising.
Floodwaters drove scores from their homes in the Trinity River drainage between south Dallas and Grand Prairie, and some people had to be rescued by boat and helicopter. Thirty families were left temporarily homeless in Grand Prairie, where water was up to the roofs.
Texoma Lake on the Texas-Oklahoma border overflowed its emergency spillway late Wednesday for the first time since 1957 and remained a foot above the spillway level Thursday afternoon.
At least 100 people on the Oklahoma side of the state line fled their homes, and 200 were evacuated from below Comanche Dam in Stephens County.
In northwest Arkansas, flood warnings were posted in 10 counties, and some people left their homes for high ground.