Severe rainfall and thunderstorms struck the Dallas-Fort Worth area Sunday night into Monday, August 22nd, dumping heavy rain over an 18-hour period, inundating streets, flooding homes, and compelling several drivers to abandon their vehicles in high water. The Texas Tribune reports that Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has declared a state of disaster inside the area based entirely on preliminary damage assessments, allowing the area to seek for available federal resources to respond. Jenkins has also requested government aid. Gov. Greg Abbott also authorized the Texas Division of Emergency Management to increase the state's emergency operations center's readiness to help flood-affected communities.
The flash floods, which are deemed life-threatening in certain situations, have sparked rescue attempts. Since 6 p.m. on Sunday, the Dallas Fire Department has responded to hundreds of automobile accidents and other water-related incidents. Dallas emergency management authorities reported excessive water on several highways and advised citizens in the region not to drive. One video from a TikTok user shows the severity of the flooding on Dallas highways:
Accuweather reports that on Monday, several parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area received more than 10 inches of rain. According to a Dallas Water Utilities report, the east side of Dallas received 15.1 inches of rain in the previous 24 hours. Rainfall amounts of at least 14.6 inches in East Dallas qualify as a 1-in-1,000-year flood, which means that it has a 0.1% chance of occurring during any given year, according to current precipitation frequency projections from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
What to Do When You Discover Flooding
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, there are several things you can do to keep yourself safe inside your house during a flood. First, make sure you have an emergency kit stocked with food, water, and supplies. Second, create a plan with your family or roommates so everyone knows what to do in case of a flood. Third, keep your valuables and important documents in a safe place that is not susceptible to flooding. Finally, if a flood does occur, stay inside your house and do not try to drive or walk through floodwaters.
The City of Dallas has some suggestions on what you should do if you discover that your home or business has been flooded. The first thing is to check for electrical hazards. If there are, stay away from the area until it has been made safe. If the water is less than 6 inches deep, you can start cleaning up. If it is deeper, you should call a professional. If the water is above 6 inches deep, you should leave the premises and call a professional to have the water removed. If the water is contaminated, you should disinfect any items that come into contact with it or dispose of them if disinfecting is impossible.
Flooding Destroyed Many Texans Homes and Apartments
Many homeowners were forced to evacuate their houses or apartments because of the intense flooding. One Dallas resident had her new apartment flooded just days after moving in. She posted about the journey on TikTok mentioning that many of her personal items have been destroyed.
Another TikTok video out of the large Northern Texas flood is of a homeowner in the Dallas area. They walk through their home with about an inch of water covering all of the floors. This water damage needs to be remediated as soon as possible to prevent structural damage, mold, and mildew to the house.
Residents in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area are still assessing the damage caused by flooding earlier this week. Some residents say they were surprised that their apartments or homes were flooded despite being on higher ground. If water is coming into your home, be sure to contact a trusted home restoration company. If the water is coming through a ceiling, calling a local roofer like Lifetime Quality Roofing to perform an inspection and fix any issues is your best option to stop further damage to your home.
Climate Change is a Large Factor in the Increase in Massive Floods
Dallas experienced intense rainfall Monday, requiring hundreds of rescues and adding the city to a list of communities that have seen precipitation so intense that it was expected just once in a millennium. Climate researchers say a warmer atmosphere has juiced the potential for extreme rainfall and damaging flooding.
The rainstorm in Dallas nearly set the city's all-time record for 24-hour rainfall, with 9.19 inches of rain recorded at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Rainfall totals throughout the metropolitan area were uneven, with some areas receiving more than 15 inches of rain.
The trend of higher rainfall intensities now than 50 years ago is being observed in both weather observations and climate modeling, and will continue as the world grows warmer as a result of humanity's reliance on oil and gas.
Climate change is causing storms to grow, and in the future, researchers expect more intense droughts, punctuated by severe bursts of precipitation. The probabilities meteorologists, engineers and average people use to contextualize the likelihood of flooding or exceptional rainfall are shifting.
Residents in Dallas are at a loss to explain why such a flood occurred. A climate scientist explains that climate change is a large factor in the increase in massive floods. He says that we have always experienced some flooding, but climate change is increasing the frequency of them. Some scientists believe that as the earth warms, the atmosphere can hold more water vapor, which can result in increased precipitation.
Extreme rainfall events have become more common in many parts of the United States, including the Dallas and Houston areas. Climate change is also projected to produce an increase in the severity of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
Organizing a Flood Cleanup Crew
If you are fortunate enough to not have your home or business flooded, you can still help your neighbors who have been affected by the flooding. If you are a homeowner, you can start by offering to let your neighbors park their cars in your driveway. If you rent, you can offer to let them use your washers and dryers. If you would like to do more, you can organize a neighborhood cleanup crew. You can post an online invitation on social media or call your local city government. You can also call local nonprofits and churches to see if they have organized a cleanup crew.
Finding a company that specializes in this type of flood/water remediation is important to ensuring you get the job done right. Make sure to look into reviews, ask friends and family for recommendations, and ask lots of questions to make sure whoever you hire is trustworthy and has expertise in restoring homes damaged by water.
Local Businesses Have Been Forced to Close as a Result of Flooding
Some businesses have been forced to close as a result of the flooding. Tarantino's restaurant served homey renditions of Italian family recipes and was decorated with artwork by local artists. The owner, Joseph Peter Tarantino IV, says he's decided to permanently close the casual Italian-American restaurant that mostly attracted musical-goers on their way to Fair Park. Tarantino's Cicchetti Bar was his father's and brother's original Dallas restaurant that closed following his father's death in 1994. Tarantino had recently closed the restaurant temporarily while the Music Hall at Fair Park received a two-month remodel. Peter Tarantino says he has emotionally and physically fallen apart, and that he will miss creating and serving holiday menus, and being a part of the wonderful Expo Park community. Supporting local businesses impacted by the flooding is now more important than ever to give them a chance to get back on their feet.
Repairs After the Flood
If your home or business has been damaged by the flooding, you should begin thinking about repairs. You should start by having your property inspected to determine its extent of the damage. You can contact your insurance company to report the damage. You should also report the flooding to your local government. Texas residents can visit https://damage.tdem.texas.gov/ to report flooding to the Texas Department of Emergency Management. This will tell them how widespread the flooding and other damage has been. You should also look into applying for disaster assistance.
Flooding can occur anywhere at any time. While there is no way to predict when it will happen, you can take steps to reduce the damage it causes. There are several things you can do to protect your home from flooding. You can make sure the area around your house is landscaped properly to encourage drainage. You can install a sump pump to remove excess water from your basement. You can also stock up on emergency supplies to ensure you have what you need if floodwaters ever enter your home. If you live in an area prone to flooding, make sure you know what to do if your home ever becomes inundated with water.
Flooding isn’t the only way water can enter your home. A faulty or damaged roof can cause water to penetrate the top of your house and leak into your ceilings and walls and damage the structural integrity of your home. Leaks in your roof due to severe storms can also allow more water than a typical storm and cause worse damage as well. If water leaks are left untreated, mold, mildew, and other unwanted and harmful effects can follow. It is important to call a local roofing company to come out and inspect your roof if you see any signs of leaking. Lifetime Quality Roofing always provides free, no-obligation roof inspections for all home and business owners in the Dallas - Fort Worth area of Northern Texas.