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  • Cannon,Kimberly
    Continued storms soak region for another day By Alex Branch and Nathaniel Jones Star-Telegram Staff Writers Firefighters rescued two Arlington children swept
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2007
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      Continued storms soak region for another day
      By Alex Branch and Nathaniel Jones
      Star-Telegram Staff Writers
      Firefighters rescued two Arlington children swept away in a swollen, rushing
      creek Monday as more rain caused another day of flooding in North Texas.
      Storms moving south to north soaked Tarrant and Johnson counties before
      tapering off about 8 p.m. High water was reported in Arlington and Fort
      Worth, where rush-hour traffic on East Loop 820 at Lancaster Avenue was
      briefly shut down because of flooding.
      About 2 inches of rain was reported in some areas, said Jason Dunn, a
      meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
      "The ground is so wet that any rain can cause flooding real quick," Dunn
      The good news Monday was that much of the rain missed hard-hit Parker
      County, and the Brazos River receded to 24.17 feet as of 7 p.m. Monday.
      Flood level is 25 feet.
      The bad news, county officials said, could come today and Wednesday.
      "They're telling us the next two days could be the worst for us rain-wise,"
      said J.C. Travis, Parker County's assistant fire marshal. "So we're ramping
      up for extended operations."
      Children rescued
      In Arlington, a 14-year-old boy and his 10-year-old sister were playing in a
      creek Monday afternoon behind their home near Texas 360 in east Arlington
      when the storm moved in, said Arlington Fire Battalion Chief David Stapp.
      "It was just a torrential rain, and the bottom just fell out on them," he
      The girl grabbed onto something in the water and held on, but her brother
      was swept about a quarter-mile downstream into Grand Prairie. Their
      8-year-old sister escaped the water, scaled an 8-foot fence and knocked on a
      neighbor's door.
      "She was screaming, 'Call 911! My sister and brother are in the water!' "
      said the neighbor, Edith Bright.
      Rescuers pulled the 10-year-old girl from the creek near Gilbert Circle and
      rescued her brother. The children were treated for minor injuries.
      Elsewhere in Arlington, flooding forced the brief closure of streets in the
      central city and partially flooded at least one home, officials said. Abram
      Street east of Collins Street looked like a river as floodwaters rushed
      toward Johnson Creek, and city crews briefly closed the bridge over the
      creek until the water subsided. The intersections of Park Row Drive and
      Connally Terrace and Oriole and Circle drives were also closed temporarily.
      In Fort Worth, fire officials reported several flooded vehicles but no
      high-water rescues.
      Parker County woes
      No new flooding was reported in Parker County, although a third floodgate on
      the Morris Sheppard Dam was reopened Monday at Possum Kingdom Lake.
      The river authority had dropped back to two open gates Sunday, but overnight
      storms dumped 2 inches of rain in Palo Pinto County.
      The dam was releasing 200,822 gallons per second Monday, officials said.
      However, with more rain in the forecast for today and Wednesday, residents
      should brace for more flooding, said Travis, the assistant fire marshal.
      Storm runoff has been causing more problems than expected.
      "Instead of getting 60 or 70 percent of runoff, it seems like we're getting
      100 percent," he said. "The ground is just too wet."
      An estimated 100 homes along the Brazos River have been flooded since last
      week, and officials are asking residents to stay away. One concern is the
      safety of emergency workers responding to calls in the flooded area.
      About 1:30 a.m. Sunday, for instance, a Horseshoe Bend man who slept while
      holding a gun in his hand under his pillow accidentally shot himself in the
      leg. His house was on stilts, but it was surrounded by 4 to 5 feet of water,
      Sheriff Larry Fowler said.
      County rescuers reached the wounded man in an inflatable boat, but a
      barbed-wire fence tore a hole in the bottom of it.
      They eventually got the man to a hospital, where he was in good condition.
      "Navigating a rescue boat in floodwaters, in the dead of night, is never a
      good situation," Fowler said. "Leave the flood areas."
      Statewide flooding
      In Wichita County, 540 homes - including 400 in Wichita Falls - were swamped
      by rising floodwaters from the Wichita River after heavy rains in the area,
      Wichita County Judge Woody Gossum said. Most of the flooding occurred in
      low-income neighborhoods on the east side of the city.
      The biggest issue is getting people back inside homes without power, he
      "If water gets up to the wall sockets, there are certain things that must be
      done before the power can be turned on," he said. "We could have a number of
      people in that area unable to move back in."
      In Gainesville, officials predicted disaster if another slow-moving, heavy
      storm passes through.
      "If we were to get a rainstorm like we did on June 18, it would be
      catastrophic because everything is so wet," said Cooke County Judge Bill
      Freeman. "There is nowhere for the water to go."
      D/FW Airport
      Monday's weather led American Airlines to cancel 35 of its 500 scheduled
      departures at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, said Tim Wagner, a spokesman for
      the Fort Worth-based carrier.
      Some of the canceled flights had been diverted to other cities Sunday night.
      Delays ran as long as three hours early Monday evening, Wagner said, mostly
      because of a ground stop of an hour and 15 minutes on flights because of
      American operates more than 80 percent of the passenger flights at D/FW
      Staff writers Eva-Marie Ayala, Sally Claunch, Bill Hanna, Bill Miller, Susan
      Schrock and David Wethe contributed to this report.
      Expect more of the same today with a 70 percent chance of showers. Wednesday
      - the Fourth of July - doesn't look much better with a 60 percent chance of
      storms, some heavy. Forecasters say the week may end on a brighter note,
      however, with the chances for rain steadily decreasing to about 20 percent
      on Friday.

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