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Officials declared a disaster occurred in Dallas, Texas, on Monday after widespread and devastating flooding from heavy rain that killed at least one person.
Judge Clay Jenkins, the chief elected official of Dallas County, tweeted that a 60-year-old woman died – the first fatality – when her vehicle was swept away by flood waters.
“Based on preliminary damage assessments, I am declaring a state of disaster in Dallas County and requesting state and federal assistance for affected individuals,” Jenkins wrote, adding that even less than an inch of water on roadways can cause the loss of control of a vehicle.
According to the Dallas Fire Department, rescuers saved 21 people and 10 dogs from fast-moving waters caused by overnight storms on Sunday and Monday.
The department said on Monday that it had responded to 195 “High Water Incidents” across the northern Texas city.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson tweeted late Monday that southeastern Dallas had “really caught the brunt of the storm,” sharing pictures of public works trucks stalled in flood waters on Botham Jean Boulevard.
He said that 50 traffic signals were either on flash or without power.
Interstates, roadways and parks were inundated with water and the inclement weather put Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport near the top of the FlightAware 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 on Monday at the hub.
The Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) Department reported that rainfall caused sanitary sewer overflows at several locations throughout the city.
The DWU said that although there is no danger to the water supply, the public should avoid contact with waste material, soil or water in any of the affected areas.
“Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within a half-mile of the spill sites or within the potentially impacted 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 tooth brushing,” it said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott directed the state’s Division of Emergency Management to increase the readiness 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 flooding 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 urge Texans to heed the guidance of their local officials and avoid dangerous roadways that could be affected by heavy rain and flash flooding in the days ahead.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.