DALLAS (Nexstar) — The record-setting torrential downpour across Texas cities Monday brought damage throughout the state, with at least one person reported dead and at least 100 homes damaged so far.
Dozens of other Texans were rescued after what experts consider an one-in-1,000-year flash flood drenched the Dallas-Fort Worth area Monday. The storm came after the city and various other parts of the state completed a months-long drought, with all of the held-up summer rain downpouring in a span of a few hours.
A 60-year-old woman died after her vehicle was washed away by floodwaters, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. Elsewhere, authorities evacuated residents from flooded areas and made water rescues. Videos show cars submerged on the highway, with streets looking more like rivers, and many vehicles were left abandoned in the floodwaters.
Brittany Taylor of Dallas was one of many who woke up Monday night to her entire apartment flooded, just two days after she moved in.
“I looked out the window, and I might as well have been on a boat, because the water was so high outside,” she said.
Taylor said because she had just moved in, she wasn’t sure if the loud rain noises were normal or not. When she finally got out of bed she looked at the window and saw the flooded streets, only to find it had made its way into her apartment.
“That was my dream apartment. I didn’t even get to have a housewarming party,” she said.
Between her apartment and car, Taylor guesses she lost tens-of-thousands worth of property. Friends and family have quickly rallied behind her, starting a GoFundMe to help her recover.
“This apartment for me was such a milestone of me being able to provide for myself. It’s been a journey to get here. And in one night, I lost my apartment and my car. It’s one of my biggest financial setbacks,” she said. “I wish I was in a position where I could take care of myself and not need help.”
Some parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth area saw upward of 15 inches of rain in a five to six hour timespan. At a press conference Tuesday morning with state leaders, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said the city is assessing how infrastructure held up, but acknowledged that amount of rain in a short period of time would be tough for even more flood-prepared cities.
“There is no infrastructure that can withstand 15 inches of water in five hours. But it doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility to look and see where we have some deficiencies,” Johnson said.
The extreme rain also caused damage in other areas of the state, as west as El Paso and as east as Tyler. An EF-1 tornado added to the damage outside of Tyler, touching down in Winona on Monday.
Central Texas saw extreme flooding on Monday that also poured out on to roads during peak rush hour in an already congested downtown Austin. While there were no reports of damage in the greater Austin area, Kerr County in Central Texas was included in Gov. Greg Abbott’s disaster declaration, covering 23 counties.