Major flash flooding and water rescues have been reported in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as torrential rain continues to pound parts of North Texas on Monday morning.
Numerous Flash Flood Warnings have been issued across the region as up to 8 inches of rain has fallen in just a few hours.
Forecasters say life-threatening flash flooding of creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and overpasses is ongoing, and people have been asked to stay off the roads if possible.
The rain has been relentless since Sunday in the Dallas area.
The city picked up 3.53 inches of rain on Sunday, equal to all the rain that had fallen in the city between May 31 and Aug. 20.
The amount of rain equals 21% of Dallas’ total of 16.83 inches since the beginning of the year.
In addition, 3.01 inches of rain fell in just one hour early Monday morning, which is the highest one-hour precipitation report at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport since 1953.
The Dallas Police Department is asking drivers to stay off the roadways if possible as water covers several roads and highways in the region.
The Texas Department of Transportation tweeted that northbound lanes of Interstate 35W in Alvarado were closed at US 67 for a period of time due to high water. That section of the interstate has since been reopened.
Video on social media shows several vehicles stranded on flooded roadways in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Other images show water in parking lots of apartment buildings, and stranding vehicles in several inches of water.
Vehicles have even been seen trying to drive through the high water, and officials stress that it is extremely dangerous.
Never drive over a water-covered roadway, as it doesn’t take much water to sweep vehicles off the road.
Always remember: Turn around, don’t drown.
Heavy rain to continue in North Texas
A multiday heavy rain threat is now underway in parts of the southern Plains, with a general focus across North Texas early Monday morning as a dip in the jet stream interacts with a front dropped across the region. The jet stream dip will push the threat of heavy rain slowly eastward toward the lower Mississippi Valley through Wednesday.
The National Weather Service has issued Flood Watches for some 20 million people from Central and North Texas into far southern Oklahoma, northern Louisiana, far southern Arkansas and west-central Mississippi.
Flash Flood Warnings that had been set to expire at 6 a.m. local time were extended by the National Weather Service.
That means nearly 2 million people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will remain under a Flash Flood Warning until 8 a.m. Central.
While North Texas deals with the heaviest rain Monday morning, the threat of heavy rain and flash flooding will shift south and east Monday afternoon and evening. Cities such as Austin, San Antonio and eventually Houston will be at risk later Monday, while showers and thunderstorms will also continue throughout the day across portions of Louisiana and Mississippi.
By Tuesday, the heavy rain will only progress slightly to the east. Cities such as Austin and Houston in Texas, Shreveport and Alexandria in Louisiana and Jackson in Mississippi can again expect numerous showers and storms for the second day in a row.
On Wednesday, areas of heavy rain will continue across southeastern and eastern Texas and much of Louisiana and Mississippi. This includes cities such as Houston in Texas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana and Jackson in Mississippi.
The showers and thunderstorms will stick around through the end of the workweek, though they should turn much more scattered by Thursday and Friday.
How much rain?
An additional 3 to 6 inches of rainfall is possible over the next few days from Central Texas to central Mississippi, with locally higher amounts up to 7 inches possible in some areas.
While much of this rainfall will be beneficial and welcome due to the effects of an ongoing drought, the potential still exists for flash flooding, especially in urban areas and places with poor drainage.