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Parts of Texas swamped by rain, flooding

A cow stands stranded north of Springtown, Texas, on Wednesday.Ron T. Ennis / Fort Worth Star-Telegram via AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Overflowing creeks and rivers across north and central Texas drove hundreds from their homes as rain fell for a fifth day Thursday.

Some of the worst flooding hit west of Fort Worth, where rainfall totals topped 10 inches for the period.

People living near lakes were moving furniture out of their homes and filling sandbags. High water covered every road into Springtown, and about 200 residents of nearby Reno were told to evacuate their homes.

Shawn Murasky voluntarily left his mobile home along Murl’s Lake near Weatherford, evacuated by a school bus Wednesday afternoon.

“I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Murasky. “The water out there was flowing fast across my drive, so I wasn’t unhappy to leave.”

At least nine motorists were rescued from floodwaters in Aledo, fire officials said, and one child was rescued after being washed away in deceptively powerful floodwaters in Arlington, which got 2 inches of rain in the 24 hours ending Thursday morning.

Much of north Texas remained under flood warnings through the morning, before rain was expected to taper off.

Heavy rain also hit central Texas. Austin had 2.5 inches in the 24 hours ending Thursday morning, and San Antonio 2.1 inches. San Antonio police said a woman and several were injured Wednesday when water buildup caused a roof collapse at a strip mall.

Hundreds of homes could be flooded
Weatherford Fire Chief George Teague said that high water was threatening to start flowing over the emergency spillway at Lake Weatherford, which could flood hundreds of homes.

Law officers warned residents around Lake Worth to prepare to evacuate and provided sandbags as the water levels continued to rise.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had days and days of rain like this,” Fort Worth fire department Lt. Kent Worley told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Citing widespread damage and loss of property, Tarrant County Judge Tom Vandergriff sought help from the state by declaring a local state of disaster. An estimated 200 homes in the county have been damaged.

Parker County officials also requested emergency assistance from the state, and emergency management crews were en route early Thursday.

The Trinity River began overflowing its banks in Weatherford and parts of Dallas on Wednesday evening, creating swamps out of farmland. In Grand Prairie, the Trinity was expected to overtake its brush- and tree-covered banks on Thursday.

One child was rescued after being washed away in deceptively powerful floodwaters in South Arlington.

Sixteen Army National Guard members and two Black Hawk helicopters were activated at the Dallas Naval Air Station for swift-water rescue operations.

Flooding from the storms tracking out of the Gulf of Mexico and through Central Texas followed last week’s severe weather that left 500,000 North Texas homes and businesses without power.

Severe weather elsewhere
In Wisconsin,
nearly 9 inches of rain fell in nine hours Wednesday in Randolph, flooding 75 to 100 homes, mostly basements, police said. “Everything is just overloaded,” Police Chief Michael Klavekoske said Thursday.

In Minnesota, a storm system dumped up to 9 inches of rain in the southern part of the state Wednesday, leaving residents to struggle with mudslides, flooded highways and soaked basements. A mudslide closed a highway in the south-central part of the state.

In Oklahoma, small, short-lived tornadoes spun up unexpectedly Wednesday, damaging buildings, toppling trees and knocking down power lines. There were no reports of injuries.

In Michigan, brief but intense thunderstorms hit the southern part of the state Wednesday afternoon, with some 83,000 homes and businesses losing power.

In New York, high wind accompanying thunderstorms tore the roof off a building Wednesday in Gouverneur and blew an empty tractor-trailer off a road near Keeseville.