DALLAS – Rescuers continued searching Wednesday for a teenager who apparently was swept away by floodwaters caused by severe storms that pounded Texas, while thousands of stranded air travelers began clearing out of the state.
Skies were clear across most of the state the day after storms packing 100-mph winds dumped more than six inches of rain on parts of Dallas, canceling hundreds of flights and swamping roadways.
In the Dallas suburb of Mesquite where the 14-year-old boy — Shaun Hebert — went missing, more than a dozen people and a Department of Public Safety helicopter were scouring a half mile section along a creek. Although water had receded some, brush and debris posed difficulties, said Mark Noble, a spokesman for the Mesquite Fire Department.
"We are still at the scene searching and will continue to do so," Noble said.
Jeff Miller, a spokesman for the Mesquite Fire Department, identified the teen as Shaun Hebert.
A friend reported that Hebert was carried by fast-moving waters Tuesday in the creek where they had been playing and down a drainage pipe, officials said.
Tuesday's daylong storms included record rainfall at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where more than half of 950 scheduled flights were canceled. Some 3,000 to 4,000 passengers spent the night at hotels or the airport terminals, American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner said.
"Everybody did a great job overnight of hanging in there and trying to get some rest," airport spokesman Ken Capps said. "The airlines will be working the lines early to try to get as many people rebooked and out of here as quickly as possible."
By early Wednesday, all security checkpoint lanes were open in preparation for an early rush. But airport officials said the flight backlog would take most of Wednesday to unwind, bracing passengers for more delays and cancellations as airlines rebuild their schedules.
American flights were full Wednesday, but the carrier canceled a dozen departing flights because airplanes sidelined by the storm were not in yet in place, Wagner said.
Flooded roadways were clear by Wednesday but some water still lingered in low-lying sites.
Rivers and lakes also remained inches above their flooding levels and weren't expected to fall below that point until Thursday. For example, the Trinity River in Dallas crested at 37 1/2 feet, more than seven feet above its flood stage, said Daniel Huckaby, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
As the runoff water flows through, other areas could face problems, he said.
Street flooding led to multiple high water rescues Tuesday, and a city bus was abandoned by the driver and passengers when it became stranded. No one on the bus was hurt.
In suburban Lancaster, hundreds of people were advised to evacuate as nearby Ten Mile Creek rose. One woman was rescued from her yard and four other people were rescued from their vehicles, said city spokeswoman Ciciely Hickmon.
Winds of more than 100 mph were briefly reported at the airport, which received a single-day record of 2.35 inches of rain, according to the weather service. The previous high of 1.52 inches was set in 1984, the weather service said.
The Federal Aviation Administration had evacuated DFW's west air traffic control tower for about 15 minutes Tuesday morning after seeing a funnel cloud over a highway.