AUSTIN, Texas (CN) — Floodwaters overwhelmed roadways in Dallas on Monday after a storm dumped an estimated 8 inches of rain overnight, spurring flood warnings for large parts of Texas and Louisiana as the storm is forecast to deliver heavy rain across the southern U.S. this week.
The storm left major Dallas roadways impassible and forced emergency responders to conduct high-water rescues of trapped motorists. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for much of the region as heavy rain is expected for the rest of the day.
In the Lone Star State, counties stretching from the Hill Country region in central and south Texas up to the Oklahoma border have been under a flood watch.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement Monday calling on Texans to stay up to date with current weather conditions.
"The State of Texas is using all means necessary to support local community efforts to protect life and property, and it’s essential that communities across the state take proactive measures to keep all Texans safe,” said Abbott.
In the Austin area, rainfall has been sparse but excessive heat has been abundant over the summer, so many central Texans are welcoming the change in weather. According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, 2022 is the driest year for the Texas Hill Country in 128 years. Eighty-six percent of Travis County, home to Austin, is under what is considered an exceptional drought, which carries extreme fire risk.
The region is expected to get 1 to 3 inches of rainfall and will be under a flood watch from 1 p.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday.
In addition to Texas, northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and central Mississippi are set to be on flood watch as the storm system trudges eastward. Over the next 36 to 48 hours, the entire state of Louisiana is expected to see rain and thunderstorms.
Later on in the week, the rest of the South is preparing to receive its share of rain. The National Weather Service has forecast rain and thunderstorms for Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
In urban areas, the worst threat of flooding comes from areas with poor drainage or that are low-lying, where water might collect easier. Officials advise all who are under flood watch to never attempt to drive through flood waters. Additionally, anyone living in flood-prone areas should plan accordingly and be prepared to leave if water begins to rise.
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