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Officials said a disaster struck in Dallas, Texas on Monday after widespread and devastating flooding from heavy rains that killed at least one person.
Judge Clay Jenkins, Dallas County’s top elected official, tweeted that a 60-year-old woman died – the first fatality – when her vehicle was swept away by floodwaters.
“Based on preliminary damage assessments, I am declaring a state of disaster in Dallas County and requesting state and federal assistance for those affected,” Jenkins wrote, adding that even less one inch of water on the roads can cause a vehicle to lose control.
According to the Dallas Fire Department, rescuers rescued 21 people and 10 dogs from fast-moving water caused by overnight storms Sunday and Monday.
The department said Monday it had responded to 195 “high water incidents” in the North Texas city.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted Monday night that southeast Dallas had “really caught the brunt of the storm,” sharing photos of public works trucks stuck in floodwaters on Botham Jean Boulevard.
He said 50 traffic lights were on or without power.
Highways, roads and parks were inundated with water, and inclement weather put Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport at the top of FlightAware’s list of delays and cancellations.
The National Weather Service recorded 9.19 inches of rain in the 24 hours ending at 2 p.m. local time Monday at the hub.
The Dallas Water Utilities Department (DWU) reported that the rains caused sanitary sewer overflows in several locations in the city.
The DWU said while there is no danger to the water supply, the public should avoid contact with waste, soil or water in any of the affected areas.
“Persons using private wells for potable water supplies located within half a mile of spill sites or in potentially affected areas should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses, including drinking, cooking, bathing and brushing teeth,” he said.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has instructed the State’s Emergency Management Division to increase the preparedness level of the Texas State Emergency Operations Center.
“The State of Texas remains proactive in our emergency response efforts, and we continue to monitor rainfall and flood conditions across the state,” he said. “I want to thank emergency response personnel and first responders for working around the clock to protect lives and property amid these storms. As we work together to protect our communities, I urges Texans to follow the advice of their local officials and avoid dangerous roads that could be affected by heavy rains and flash flooding in the days ahead.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.