At Least 1,400 Homes Flooded in Heavy Texas Rains

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A flash flood warning was in effect for all of northern Texas until about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Heavy downpours have soaked the area for much of this week, according to

After assessing damage caused by rains that dumped as much as 13 inches a day earlier, Starr County's estimate of flooded homes nearly doubled to 1,400 Tuesday.

There were no fatalities or serious injuries, but receding floodwaters revealed damaged roads, sinkholes and overwhelmed sewer systems.

While skies remained dry most of Tuesday, weather cells threatening heavy rain appeared just across the border in Mexico in the afternoon.

"We're just holding our breath," said Starr County Emergency Management Coordinator Gene Falcon.

Earlier Tuesday, Falcon had said there was still widespread flooding though the water was receding.

In Roma, where 65 people spent the night in a shelter and flooding on U.S. Highway 83 cut the town off from the rest of the Rio Grande Valley for several hours Monday, the sun had come out by midday Tuesday, said town Councilman Noel Benavides. He said the water was draining away quickly, allowing people to return to check on their homes.

"We're doing fine," Benavides said. "Just a lot of people upset with the inconvenience of the water."

The motors on two pumps that deliver water to the high school and middle school had burned out, but Benavides expected them to be replaced Tuesday. The health department was also scheduled to make tetanus shots available to anyone who wanted one, he said.

About 10,000 people live in Roma, about 210 miles south of San Antonio.

The rain hit as the ground was still saturated from Hurricane Dolly, which came ashore in late July.

The worst flooding was north of U.S. Highway 83 where a continuous "lake" three miles long and a mile wide ran through neighborhoods in Escobares and Los Saenz, small communities east of Roma.

The National Weather Service forecast thunderstorms Tuesday that could produce isolated heavy rain and issued a flash flood watch for deep South Texas through 7 p.m.

Rain was making a mess across much of the state.

Near the Oklahoma border, authorities in boats or military vehicles rescued about 150 people out of their homes or stranded vehicles early Tuesday morning after flash flooding, said Wichita County's emergency management coordinator Lee Bourgoin. No injuries were reported, and only about 15 people went to a Wichita Falls shelter, officials said.

"The ground is so hard here because we're in a drought, and when the rain came down so fast it just flooded," Bourgoin said.

The Wichita Falls Fire Department reported making rescues in chest-deep water since early morning Tuesday, and officials warned residents in low-lying areas to be prepared to evacuate.

The small, low-lying towns of Burkburnett and Iowa Park were virtually isolated because of flooding on the main routes, but by Tuesday afternoon the water had receded on some roads, Bourgoin said.

In Clay County, a sheriff's dispatcher reported parts of Texas 79 were underwater but "still driveable."

In the Dallas suburb of Garland, a buildup of rainwater is blamed for the collapse of the roof of a strip shopping center early Tuesday. Eight businesses were damaged, but no injuries were reported.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.