Flooding mars travel in Texas; mishaps claim 14 lives

Published on : Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kentucky_Flooding_Inclement weather proved to be the biggest hurdle at the onset of the holiday season for a major part of the USA. One of the busiest travel days of the year eased Sunday after heavy rainfall and icy roads in the northern parts of Texas which caused 14 deaths over the holiday weekend.


However, a band of rain stretching from Tennessee into Arkansas, Oklahoma and north Texas continued as families made their way home after Thanksgiving.


According to media reports, rains continued in North Texas where waterways were already overflowing and flood watches remained in effect. From swiftly flowing water in a portion of the Trinity River in southeast Dallas seven people were pulled out Sunday afternoon, a Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesperson said.


Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to the winter storm and flooding. The governor’s office stated nearly 100,000 homes were still without power Sunday afternoon as a result of freezing rain, ice and sleet.


Power was out to an additional 10,000 in Kansas from an earlier spell of freezing rain.


But temperatures edged higher Sunday, offering some potential relief in both states, said Dan Pydnowski, senior meteorologist with Accuweather.


In Seagoville, south of Dallas, three people and a dog were rescued from their home due to flooding. Rain in north Texas over the holiday weekend reached an annual record of more than 56 inches, surpassing the previous high of 53.54 inches in 1991.


This region should begin drying out by Monday, Pydnowski said.


An estimated 47 million Americans were expected to travel during this holiday. Travel nationally appeared to be largely unimpeded Sunday, Pydnowski said. The exception was in and around Denver, where it snowed. “Nationally speaking, when taken as a whole, it’s not too bad,” he said of the overall travel conditions.


Overall eight people were killed on Friday and Saturday due to floods in North Texas, according to the media. Another six people died in accidents on icy roads in Kansas, news reports added.


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