East Texas Floods Leave 6 Dead After 190 mm of Rain in 1 Hour

Storms and torrential rain early on Saturday 30 April resulted in floods that have left at least 6 people dead in Palestine, 100 miles (160 km) south east of Dallas, Texas.

The recent disaster means that 14 people have died in floods in the state in the last 2 weeks. Eight people died in the Houston “Tax Day” floods of 18 April, 2016 after 12 inches of rain fell in just a few hours.

Palestine, Texas

Palestine, Texas, saw 7.5 inches (190 mm) of rain in less than an hour, according to city officials. Palestine Mayor Bob Herrington said in a statement:

“The City of Palestine has suffered the worst flooding event in my 59 years of living here.  I don’t recall ever seeing this much water rise so fast and in such a short period of time.”

In a statement on 30 April, Palestine Police Department said that officers received calls related to a missing family and a search was conducted. Going house to house, in waist-deep floodwater, first responders and residents attempted to locate an adult woman, and four grandchildren.

The victims were all from the same family and included 4 children. They were forced to escape their house after flood water reached as high as the roof. They were then swept away and their bodies discovered later on Saturday.

In a separate incident, a 30 year old man was swept away by flood water. His body was found late  Saturday afternoon, according to Anderson County Sheriff’s Department.

Homes and Businesses Damaged

At least seven homes were evacuated in the Timber Drive area. According to the Red Cross, 22 homes suffered major damage and all families were put up in local hotels.

Palestine officials say that businesses in Old Town Palestine and a railroad track at Sycamore and Gillespie streets have all suffered damage. They added that an unknown number of homes and businesses were damaged in the low-lying areas of the city.

The mayor said “It is too early to know the full extent of the damage, we have homes and businesses that have suffered flood damage and many of our roads have suffered significant deterioration as well.   Total damage estimates will be developed in the near future and will be available to interested parties.”

Rainfall

National Weather Service (NWS) Fort Worth recorded 7.78 inches (197mm) of rain in 24 hours in NE Palestine, Texas, between 29 and 30 April. City officials say that most of the rain fell within 1 hour. Around 4.33 inches (110 mm) was recorded in East Palestine and 3.05 (77mm) in North East Oakwood during the same period.

NWS Fort Worth noted the variance of rainfall across northern Texas for Friday 29 April. They said that rainfall ranged from half an inch or less in the west, to 5 to 7 inches in the east.

Featured image: Houston floods 22 April 2016. Photo: Sandra Arnold, USACE Galveston District

Flood summary

Last updated: July 22, 2016
Event
East Texas, USA, April to May 2016
Date
April 30 to May 1, 2016
Type
Inland flood
Cause
Extreme rainfall
Storms and torrential rain early on Saturday 30 April resulted in floods that have left at least 6 people dead in Palestine, Texas, which saw 7.5 inches (190 mm) of rain in less than an hour, according to city officials.

Locations

Palestine, Texas

Magnitude

Rainfall level
190 mm in 24 hours
Palestine, Texas - April 29 to April 30, 2016
Local officials say the 190 mm of rain fell in just 1 hour.

Damages

Fatalities
6 people
Palestine, Texas - April 29 to April 30, 2016

One thought on “East Texas Floods Leave 6 Dead After 190 mm of Rain in 1 Hour

  1. It’s absolutely astounding, the amount of devastation Texas has suffered the past couple of years from flooding. I’ve always thought of Texas as a pretty dry state. And I guess, on the whole, it probably is. But I still have a hard time believing that they could suffer through so much damage. I live in the Midwest, where we’re “supposed” to get huge rains like this, but I’ve never seen one so bad here.

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