The death toll reached three Friday from fierce storms that dumped more than a foot of water in the Dallas (search) area. Two of the victims were found in a flooded creek that washed out a bridge during heavy rain.

A 65-year-old motorist was found Friday about 10 miles downstream from where surging floodwaters (searchcollapsed the concrete support columns of a bridge in Ovilla (search), a town about 20 miles southwest of Dallas.

The body of a 52-year-old man was found a day earlier.

"It's been pretty devastating because we're such a small community and a close-knit community," Ovilla Police Chief Michael Moon said. "We lost a major bridge that goes through our town and we lost two people in our area."

State transportation officials were investigating why the columns collapsed.

A third death in Arlington was also blamed on the severe storms that dropped up to 13 inches of rain in the area late Wednesday and early Thursday.

The body of a security guard was found by firefighters Thursday evening in a creek, about 100 yards downstream from his sport utility vehicle, said Arlington police Sgt. David McGinty.

A fourth death that had been blamed on the storm — a man whose pickup truck knocked over a utility pole in Dallas — was found to have been caused by a heart attack.

Damage from the falling rain, such as leaking roofs, was estimated to be at least $17 million, said Jerry Johns, president of the Southwestern Insurance Information Service. That preliminary figure excludes flood damage, which is not covered by most homeowners insurance, Johns said.

In the suburb of Lancaster, city officials were hoping for state and federal help after flooding damaged as many as 200 homes.