NEWS HEADLINES

Calm before the storm; County braces for soggy, sloppy weekend

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, September 22, 2018

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On Standby

ON STANDBY – From left, Garrett Minter, David Harris and Winston Saldivar from Texas Search and Rescue stage in Decatur in preparation for possible flooding rains this weekend. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Shortly before noon Friday as light showers moved through Decatur, Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell took count of the resources available from boats to personnel.

Powell and the rest of the county were bracing for a wet weekend that could bring between 3 and 8 inches of rain. Swift water rescue boats from Texas Search and Rescue, Wise County Emergency Medical Services and Texas game wardens were being staged in preparation for possible flooding.

“As the day goes on, we could see some heavy rainfall lead to trouble areas,” Powell said. “We’re being cautious and proactive. I hope they’re all bored.”

Powell said Wise County EMS and several fire departments have trained swift water personnel, and TXSAR, a volunteer search and rescue group, is also standing by.

The heavy rain was expected to move in around 4 p.m. Friday with several rounds of showers following Saturday.

“You’re starting to get light showers, and it will only increase later this afternoon,” said Eric Martello, senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth on Friday. “It’ll be a sloppy afternoon with bouts of rain through a good chunk of Saturday and into Saturday night.”

Martello said rain totals could range between 3 and 6 inches in most of the county. Isolated areas could see as much as 8 inches.

“The West Fork of the Trinity going through Boyd could reach minor flooding stage,” Martello said.

A flood warning for the West Fork Trinity River near Boyd was issued Friday through Sunday evening.

Powell, who has been coordinating with the National Weather Service, said the amount of rain falling in the county depends on the stalling point of a front moving in from the north that’s colliding with a stationary front over the Metroplex.

“Where it stalls will be the heaviest portion of rain. We could have 2 to 3 inches of rain per hour,” he said. “That’s a lot of rain in a short period of time.”

The highest threat of flash flooding could occur overnight Friday into Saturday. Powell cautions drivers to be vigilant on the roadways and not to enter high water.

Storm chances linger through Thursday. Martello said after Sunday, the best chances are Wednesday and Thursday when a cold front moves in, dropping highs into the high 70s and low 80s.

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