Fierce storms early Thursday dropped up to 13 inches of rain on the Dallas area, flooding highways and homes, knocking out power to thousands, and collapsing the roof of a 911 call center.
Authorities received more than 80 calls for high-water rescues, said Sgt. Don Peritz, a Dallas County Sheriff's Office spokesman, and rain washed out the dirt beneath a stretch of railroad track. One man died when his pickup truck knocked over a utility pole, sending live power lines down onto his vehicle.
Some areas of southern Dallas County received up to 13 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said, and the area was hit especially hard by flooding, with as many as 200 homes damaged in the suburb of Lancaster. More than 240 homes were evacuated early Thursday after a creek rose out of its banks alongside a subdivision.
"It's a mess out here," dispatcher Debbie Brand said. "We had to get those people out of their houses."
An estimated 35,000 homes and businesses were without power early Thursday, TXU Electric Delivery said. And parts of Interstates 20, 35 and 45 were closed for a time by high water.
The Lancaster police station flooded and a leaking roof caused the ceiling of the 911 call center to collapse, police Lt. Jim Devlin said. Calls were routed through the county Sheriff's Department, and dispatchers used handheld radios to communicate with officers.
Northwest of Dallas, four people were rescued from a car trapped in rising waters in Carrollton and trees were uprooted in Lewisville, and floodwaters also caught motorists at Dallas intersections.
In the northeast Fort Worth suburb of Haltom City, fire-rescue officials rescued a 16-year-old boy who had been swept into a flood-swollen creek that also flooded a mobile home park, and firefighters were evacuating residents.
A railroad trestle was washed out by strong waters in southeastern Dallas County, leaving 50 feet of track without soil to support it.
Another bridge was out southwest of Dallas, near Midlothian, and a 1,000-foot bridge was underwater near Ennis, but trains to and from Houston could be rerouted, Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said.
Wind gusts of 58 mph were measured at Fort Worth Alliance Airport. Southwest Airlines delayed some flights and canceled others at Love Field, and flights were delayed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.