Area gets substantial soaking, no major problems from storms

By Joshua Benton
Staff Writer

Page 15A

The weekend’s heavy rains might have been a bother for some North Texas residents, but for marathoner-in-training Michael George, it was a blessing.

“I love it,” said Mr. George, a 51-year-old corporate vice president from Irving who was setting out Sunday on a 14-mile run.

“When it’s hot and dry, you have to get up at 5:30, 6 o’clock to get cooler weather. This is like running in air conditioning.”

Mr. George was one of the few people willing to endure Sunday morning’s wet conditions at White Rock Lake, where he is training for a December marathon. But even those who stayed inside probably didn’t mind the rain, as North Texas continues to recover from this summer’s lengthy drought.

The storms, mostly arrayed in a tight north-south squall line, dumped up to 3 inches of rain on the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Low-lying parts of some city streets were left with standing water through Sunday afternoon. Forecasters say more rain is expected through Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued eight severe thunderstorm warnings Saturday night and Sunday morning, along with one flood warning for the White Rock Creek watershed, between Greenville Avenue and White Rock Lake.

The creek’s waters spilled the banks about 8 a.m. Sunday, but subsided not long after as the water drained into the lake, said Steve Fano, a forecaster for the National Weather Service.

“I’ve only seen it flood once in the past three years, and it didn’t rain hard enough to do much here today,” said Hilda O’Neill, a receptionist at Royal Oaks Country Club, located on White Rock Creek.

No tornadoes or serious wind damage were reported in North Texas, Mr. Fano said.

The region has been in a drought for more than a year.

Although Sunday’s rain didn’t make up for the last two long, dry summers, it did help bring the region’s precipitation totals closer to normal levels.

As of 6 p.m. Sunday, 25.71 inches of rain had fallen in 2000, not far behind the 29.27 inches normal for this point in the year and well ahead of the 19.71 inches that had fallen a year ago.

At summer’s end, forecasters predicted that a wetter-than-normal fall and winter could help ease the pain of the drought.

This summer, no rain fell at the National Weather Service’s measuring station at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for 84 straight days, the area’s longest dry stretch since 1898, and temperatures breached the 100-degree mark with regularity, leaving cracked earth and dead fields.

The rain, which started falling in earnest shortly after midnight Sunday morning in Dallas, was caused by the collision of dry western air with a mass of low-level moisture over North Texas, Mr. Fano said.

But no matter what the meteorologists say, Sabrina Daniels, a Grand Prairie resident, believes the blame is all hers.

“I washed my car yesterday, so of course I made it rain,” she said Sunday as she went into NorthPark Center. “I take all the credit and all the blame.”

The thunder and lightning overnight between Saturday and Sunday were severe enough to wake Ms. Daniels from a sound sleep, she said.

“And nothing wakes me up except him,” she said, gesturing toward her smiling 5-year-old son, Reginald.

Although there is only a slight chance of precipitation Monday, the likelihood will increase Tuesday night and Wednesday, with scattered showers becoming thunderstorms in some areas, Mr. Fano said. The skies should clear by Thursday, he said.