|Ref: Texas and Oklahoma communities hit by torrential rains
| 06.29.2007 | 06:29:20 | Views: 2999 |
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More Rain Forecast for Texas, Oklahoma
By ANGELA K. BROWN
(AP) Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, left, and Marble Falls Mayor Raymond Whitman look at a swollen that...
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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Flood-weary residents hoping for a reprieve from the sustained, heavy rains that have soaked parts of Texas may have to wait, as forecasts called for more of the same on Friday.
The storms, which were being blamed for at least 11 deaths in north and central Texas since last week, have swollen rivers and forced the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes.
There was a more than 60 percent chance that the rains would continue in the affected areas Friday, said Jesse Moore, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.
"The storms are very efficient rain producers, and if you happen to be under one of them you can pick up 1 1/2 or 2 inches an hour," Moore said. "Right now with the ground being saturated, it's all run-off and that causes the flash flooding we've been seeing.
(AP) Amy Fraser, of Austin,Texas, helps to clean up her father's aircraft parts business that was...
Evacuation orders were issued Thursday for about 2,000 residents near the flood-swollen Brazos River in Parker County. The river was more than 2 feet above its flood stage early Friday. Officials said it could rise farther still if they opt to open a flood gate at the Possum Kingdom Lake dam to relieve pressure on the dam.
In San Antonio, there were 52 street closures and 43 calls for high-water rescues, although it's unclear how many people were rescued, said Sandy Gutierrez, a spokeswoman for San Antonio's Emergency Operations Center.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, acting governor while Gov. Rick Perry is out of the country, surveyed flood damage Thursday in Marble Falls, which received 19 inches of rain in a six-hour period the previous day.
Despite periods of drizzle, residents began clearing the debris, rubble and mud from the streets.
"We're through the crisis point and now we're at the point it's time to roll up our sleeves and get dirty," Mayor Raymond Whitman said.
(AP) Kristine Pickett, left, of Marble Falls, Texas, and her sister, Amy Fraser, of Austin, Texas, helps...
Most of the town's 7,200 residents remained without running water after flash floods damaged the city's water treatment plant, which state environmental officials were assessing. Bottled water brought in by state emergency workers was available.
The flooding caused the closure of six bridges and tore a wall off the funeral home, Whitman said. As many as 150 homes and businesses in the town were damaged, town spokeswoman Christine Laine said.
It's the wettest year on record in Austin, with more than 30 inches of rain since January, and Dallas-Fort Worth, Waco and Wichita Falls have received near-record amounts. The rainfall has more than compensated for a drought that gripped much of Texas in 2005-06, National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Lenz said.
All 77 of Oklahoma's counties were under a state of emergency late Thursday. Officials said 46 homes in Pottawatomie County sustained major damage. Three water rescues were performed Thursday in Kingfisher County in central Oklahoma.
The National Weather Service on Thursday recorded rainfall in Oklahoma City for the 16th straight day, two days longer than the previous record, set from May 29 to June 11 in 1937. Forecasters predicted the rain could continue for several more days.
Associated Press writers April Castro in Marble Falls, Rich Matthews in Weatherford, Elizabeth White in New Braunfels and Murray Evans in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma contributed to this report.
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