Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.
Emergency officials, first responders and residents assessed damage Sunday from a series of storms that dropped up to nine inches of rain in parts of Texoma and lead to flooding throughout the county. Despite the significant rain, emergency officials said there were no major injuries during the weekend storms.
“While resources were stressed by the heavy rains and response to flood areas, and property losses are devastating for owners, we are grateful for the lack of serious injuries,” Grayson County Emergency Management Coordinator Sarah Somers said Sunday in a text message. “And as always, community heroes continue to make a difference to those impacted.”
Rain totals from the storms ranged greatly across the region with some areas getting about an inch and others receiving about nine inches over the course of about 18 hours, the National Weather Service reported. Among the areas that received significant rain were Knollwood, which recorded 9.04 inches of rain; Pottsboro, which saw 6.95 inches; and Sherman, with 6.38 inches. A weather station at the North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field recorded 8.33 inches of rain at about 6:45 a.m. Sunday.
24-hour rain fall totals (in inches)
Infogram Somers said Sherman, Pottsboro, Whitewright, Bells, NTRA and areas around Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge saw the worst damage from the storms and subsequent flooding. Somers added the the significant damage seems to be widespread north of State Highway 56.
“(We) still have many roadways with water over them,” Somers said at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Somers noted that the investigation into the storm damage was still ongoing, and officials were uncertain of the total cost from the storm.
“We are looking at costs of response and uninsured damages to residents and businesses,” Somers said. “It is unlikely, although flooding was dramatic, that losses will reach required loss thresholds for any federal disaster relief. Folks with uninsured losses should work with Red Cross for immediate assistance and then other non-profits and faith based organizations.”
Sherman Police Sgt. D.M. Hampton said the Sherman area likely was hit harder than some areas due to the many creeks and tributaries that run through the city. If areas outside the city saw significant rain, the city would likely still see impact due to waters flowing down stream, he said.
“Most of us would never complain about rain in August, but I think we have a lot of complaints about this much rain in August,” he said.
Hampton said many low-lying streets across the city were flooded over during the storms. Between Sherman Police and Sherman Fire-Rescue, Hampton said first responders performed about 20 rescues of motorists during and following the storms.
Hampton warned motorists not to take a chance and drive through roads that are covered with water, noting that many times the water could be deeper than it may seem and even shallower waters can cause a car to stall. By driving into these areas, motorists risk adding to the strain on emergency personnel and potentially could put the life of a first responder in danger.
“It goes back to what we always tell them — 'turn around, don’t drown,'” Hampton said.
Hampton said areas bordering creeks, including Post Oak Creek and Choctaw Creek, were hit particularly hard by the storms. This included 20 duplexes on Regency Circle, along Washington Street. The duplexes back up directly to the banks of Post Oak Creek.
At its peak, the waterline stood at about five-and-a-half feet along the brickwork of the duplexes. Representatives for the property owners said about 20 people were displaced by the flooding, and were being assisted by the American Red Cross. In addition to damaging residences, many vehicles on the site were moved by the flood waters.
Among the residents on Regency Circle was Johnny Duree, who lives farther away from the creek than some of the duplexes. Thanks to the distance, Duree said the waters only went about 10 inches into his home.
In response to this and other flooding incidents, the Sherman Municipal Building was opened as a temporary shelter. In total, about four families were assisted, the Sherman Police Department said in a Facebook post.
In addition to the municipal building, Somers said Wilson N. Jones Medical Center also offered shelter to additional families and individuals.
Sherman Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Brown said the flood waters seemed to have peaked at about 7:30 in the morning, and were slowly receding. Despite the waters falling back, Brown said it was still too early to determine the extent of the damage. He added that the Regency development was only his first stop of the day.
“We are still very early into the damage assessment from this,” he said.
Brown noted that the damages reminded him of the last major flood in 2007, but added that the damage was lighter than the previous storms.
Denison also saw localized flooding, however damage appears to be minimal, city officials said Sunday. Battalion Chief Bruce Geilhausen said many streets that often flood during heavy rain continued that trend Sunday morning.
“When I came in, Eisenhower was shut down, but the waters receded, and we didn’t have much else,” he said.
In Fannin County, officials reported only two flooded home near Ladonia. Emergency Management Coordinator Darrell Brewer said portions of the county received between six and eight inches of rain, but damage appeared to be minimal.
Beyond the two homes that were damaged, Brewer said many low lying roads, including State Highway 78, south of Bonham, were flooded.
NWS Meteorologist Juan Hernandez said the rain Saturday and Sunday was the result of a series of storms that were allowed to grow due to significant moisture in the area and an upper level disturbance. He noted that it was not a single storm system, but rather a chain of individual cells that were able to grow that caused the heavy rains.
For Sunday, Hernandez predicted about a 30 percent chance for about one-tenth of an inch of additional rainfall, with the chances dwindling to zero by Tuesday.
“Overall, the pattern looks like it will be a little less active,” he said. “So that will lead to less precipitation.”