DALLAS – Fierce overnight storms dropped up to 13 inches of rain in the Dallas (search) area, flooding highways and homes, knocking out power to thousands and collapsing the roof of a 911 call center.
Authorities had more than 80 calls for high-water rescues, and rain washed out the dirt beneath a stretch of railroad track.
One man died when his pickup 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 (search) said, and the area was especially hard hit 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."
The rain began to taper off in the morning, and the forecast did not call for significant amounts for the rest of the day, weather service forecaster Bob Carle said.
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 began to flood late Thursday, 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.
Authorities received more than 80 calls for high-water rescues in southern Dallas County, said Sgt. Don Peritz, a county Sheriff's Office spokesman. It was unclear how many people were rescued.
Northwest of Dallas, four people were rescued from a car trapped in rising waters in Carrollton and trees were uprooted in Lewisville, and flood waters also caught motorists at Dallas intersections.
In the northeast Fort Worth (search) 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.
"If the weather continues to get worse, it could be a problem," Deputy Chief Wes Rhodes said. "As long as we stay ahead of it, we're all right."
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.
The pickup death in the South Dallas neighborhood of Oak Cliff was considered weather-related.
Wind gusts of 58 mph were measured at Fort Worth Alliance Airport. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines delayed some flights and canceled others at Love Field, and flights were also delayed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.