Storms create isolated flooding, more rain in the forecast
Recent storms have dropped more than two and a half inches of rain on Graham over the past five days, leading to some localized flooding and a few closed roads in the area.
To our south, Breckenridge has had more than four and a half inches of rain in the same time period. Both U.S. Highways 180 and 183 in Breckenridge were closed Monday morning due to high water levels at several locations. Those needing to get from the east side of Breckenridge to the west side faced long drives out into the county to get around the flooded areas.
The flooding in Breckenridge has led to at least one death, as well as power outages and a water shortage. The power outage also has required a boil-water notice for Stephens County residents who use the Stephens Regional SUD water service.
The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook shortly before 4 p.m. today for north central Texas, including Young, Stephens, Palo Pinto, Jack and several other counties. The report predicts a small chance of thunderstorms tonight for the Graham area that could produce gusty winds and frequent lightning.
For the rest of the week, there is a chance of thunderstorms across all of north Texas through next Sunday. Some severe weather will be possible, and heavy rain may lead to more localized flooding. According to the forecast, there is a 50 to 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms beginning Tuesday night and continuing through Thursday. Twenty to 40 percent chance of rain continues through Sunday.
With the rains, the creeks and rivers in the area can overflow, creating hazardous driving conditions. Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard, according to the National Weather Service.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded. A mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away a small car, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles.
It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.
Remember this advice: Turn around; don’t drown.
Stay tuned to FM 94.7 for updates.