Fourth day of rain drenches parts of Tarrant County

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX) |

June 25--More than 5,500 people were without power, Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor closed, and Dallas/Fort Worth Airport recommended travelers doublecheck flights as heavy rain drenched northern Tarrant County Wednesday afternoon.

Bill McQuatters, Arlington Fire Department assistant chief, said as of 5:19 p.m. that he had checked with the Emergency Operations Center and dispatch and "all sems to be back to normal."

McQuatters said all roadways in Arlington were open.

"We had some roadway flooding, but nothing severe," he said. "The high water on the roadways did cause some issues for motorists who drove through too fast and stalled their cars. No major high water rescues, water never got that deep."

A power failure was reported at the Arlington Convention Center, and the Oncor outage map showed about 5,500 customers were affected by 205 outages at about 3:45 p.m. Oncor was assessing conditions at that time.

The power was out for an hour and 15 minutes at the convention center starting at 2:30 p.m., said Mike Hunter, the center's assistant director.

The center, which has generators, is hosting at 2014 Showbiz National Talent Competition for elementary to junior high school students until 8 p.m. Wednesday.

A woman suffered minor injuries when she was shocked through her keyboard during a lightning strike. Emergency workers were at her home in the 8000 block of Cannonwood Drive in Fort Worth at 4:06 p.m., assessing her condition, Medstar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said.

"There was a lightning strike in the area, and she felt a power surge come though her computer keyboard," Zavadsky said.

He was not yet sure whether she would be taken to a hospital.

A flash flood warning was in effect for Tarrant County until 4:45 p.m., the second straight day downpours caused flash floods in the area.

A news release says Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor are scheduled to reopen Thursday at 10:30 a.m.

"Our rides are typically unaffected by adverse weather conditions and water recedes quickly after a heavy rain," spokeswoman Sharon Parker said in a prepared statement. "Per our standard safety procedures, all rides will be thoroughly inspected prior to re-opening,"

Areas of northeast and northwest Tarrant County were also being hit with heavy rains, and roads were closed on Saginaw Boulevard in Fort Worth, Roanoke and Trophy Club.

Cleaning up after Tuesday rains

On Tuesday, the heavy rains caused flooding in Fort Worth, prompting the Fort Worth Fire Department to respond to 42 rescue calls.

One of the areas hit hard was Fort Worth's near south side, where the WineHaus wine boutique and bar was heavily damaged by raging flood water.

Lindsey Crawford, 28, opened the European-themed bar in October and, until Tuesday, lived above it. She said she was about to close when the storm literally knocked her door down just after 5 p.m.

"I felt some leaking in the vent in my sink room, right behind the bar, where I wash my glasses and store things," said Crawford, who was about to close because the storm water had flooded Park Place Avenue in front of her business.

"I called my boyfriend, then thought I should go upstairs and check. Within seconds the door at the bottom of the stairs burst open and water came pouring out."

Crawford didn't hesitate.

"I grabbed my puppy and my purse and took off," she said.

Splintered roof joists, drywall and mushy insulation in Crawford's apartment created a scene out of a disaster movie.

"It's devastating," she said. "It looks like a hurricane up there. The sheer force of the water coming through got everything wet that it didn't destroy. There's every kind of mess you can imagine."

Wednesday morning, she was dealing with the devastation one detail at a time.

"Today I'm waiting for the insurance adjuster," Crawford said. "We've got to get the hole in the upstairs covered, because there's more rain coming."

Wednesday was the fourth consecutive rainy day in Tarrant County. The average rainfall total for June is 3.79 inches, according to the weather service. So far this June, 2.19 inches have been reported at Dallas//Fort Worth Airport, the official recording station for the area.

Some areas of Tarrant County surpassed June's average rainfall total in just the past few days.

"Downtown Fort Worth probably got 3 to 4 inches just on Tuesday afternoon," said meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh of the National Weather Service Office in Fort Worth.

Cavanaugh noted that the downpours are common during the early summer in North Texas. But he said, "It's unusual that we've had consecutive days of these types of storms."

Stage set for more rain

The rain did little to help area lakes.

Tarrant County lakes and those that supply water to the county saw slight increases.

Reservoirs such as Lake Arlington, Lake Worth, Eagle Mountain, Richland-Chambers, Cedar Creek and Lake Benbrook all saw gains of several inches while Lake Bridgeport gained about a tenth of an inch. But Lake Grapevine actually dropped slightly.

"What's happening right now is keeping demands down," said Tarrant Regional Water District spokesman Chad Lorance. "Most people probably don't need to water outdoors for at least another week."

Lots of moisture remains in the atmosphere in North Texas, setting the stage for more rain chances this week, according to forecasters.

Forecasters are calling for a 30 percent chance of rain on Thursday and Friday and there's a 20 percent chance of moisture this weekend.

Daytime temperatures will be in the lower 90s and morning temperatures will be in the mid-70s.

Flash floods

A fast-moving, ferocious downpour soaked North Texas Tuesday, leaving drivers stranded in flash floods and tangling afternoon commutes.

Two to 3 inches of rain fell in just 90 minutes, according to the weather service.

Standing water was reported at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at Berry and Hemphill streets.

The Fort Worth Fire Department responded to 42 high-water calls, 21 reports of downed power lines and one structure fire. Police dispatch reported more than 100 calls for service related to weather between 4 and 6 p.m.

MedStar officials responded to 10 motor vehicle accidents and transported six patients during the downpour.

At the peak of the storms on Tuesday afternoon, Oncor reported that 28,000 customers were without power in Tarrant and Dallas counties. Only a few hundred customers remained without power on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Crawford is counting her blessings; Harpo, her Great Dane, and Gigandos, the French bulldog puppy, weren't hurt.

"I intend to reopen here, and I likely will still live here," she said. "Once the building is secure and clean, being able to get my things back in there will be done quickly."

Staff writers Domingo Ramirez Jr. and Terry Evans contributed to this report.

Monica S. Nagy, 817-390-7792 Twitter:@MonicaNagyFWST Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639 Twitter: @susanschrock


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