Texas flooding continues

Heavy rains continued flooding parts of central Texas Wednesday.


Major floods struck parts of southeast and south central Ohio in January. (Photo courtesy West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church)
Credit: Disaster News Network

Heavy rains continued flooding parts of central Texas Wednesday. Downpours started Sunday evening and have damaged more than 200 homes around the Fort Worth area.

In Parker County, just west of Fort Worth, ten homes were damaged in Springtown, but county emergency officials expect damage totals to rise.

"We've received five to seven inches of rain in the past 24 hours and we're supposed to get another two to five inches," said Joel Kertok, spokesperson for the Parker County emergency management agency.

"We're expecting major flooding along the Trinity River and are telling folks there to prepare for the worst."

An emergency shelter has been set up at a local college in Weatherford, but Kertok said only two families were there so far. "We have a voluntary evacuation out now, but not too many people are taking us up on it yet. But we're telling folks to leave the area immediately if they see rising water."

Neighboring Tarrant County suffered damages from the constant rain as well. The community of White Settlement has experienced the heaviest damage so far, with around 150 homes affected. Damage assessments are continuing, but officials said it looks like many people either do not have insurance or are underinsured.

"This will be verified more as assessments continue, but many do not have insurance," said Juan Ortiz, emergency management coordinator for Tarrant County and the city of Fort Worth.

"There's already been a local disaster declaration in White Settlement, but we're anticipating a county declaration will happen later today."

The same area suffered a significant flood in the summer of 2000, but Ortiz said this one appears to be worse than that one already. Some six inches of rain fell around Fort Worth overnight Sunday, leaving damage up interstate 35 and into the city of Denton as well.

In White Settlement, where the heavy rain quickly pushed the Farmers Branch Creek out of its banks, an emergency shelter is located at a nearby middle school. Ortiz said no one has stayed overnight yet, but many people had been coming in for food and supplies.

The Texas Baptist Men brought in meals for the residents of White Settlement. Other relief groups assisting with immediate needs include The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.

The First Baptist Church of White Settlement (FBCWS) suffered water damage as well. "We spent all day yesterday getting the church un-flooded," said Carol Wadley, finance secretary for FBCWS. "We had two to three inches of water in our basement, and then our ground floor was also soaked."

Wadley said the powerful storm's high winds contributed to the amount of water in the church. Yesterday was spent having parishioners bring in their Shop-Vacs to remove water from the carpet. Wadley added that the church found out today that its insurance does not cover the flood damage.

The Southern Baptist's disaster relief organization had also been in contact with the church, said Wadley.

She added that, so far, 11 church families had reported flood damage to their own homes. "But those are only the ones who have called in," Wadley said. "There may be more."

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