GAINESVILLE, Texas — Many Cooke County residents found their morning commute difficult Monday, and some found simply walking across their front yard impossible.
The entire North Central Texas area remained under a flash flood warning until noon Monday. Runoff from heavy rains early Monday, which brought between 2 and 8 inches of precipitation, was causing creeks and streams to rise.
Downtown Gainesville had flooded streets and spectators watched rescue crews direct traffic, pull vehicles out of flooded intersections and rescue children and their parents from the tops of houses.
Rescue crews launched boats to try to reach people stranded on Lindsay Street in southeast Gainesville, and most of Main Street was several feet underwater, including railroad tracks.
“The water is all over the place,” Angel Thomas said. “I went to Grand Avenue and it was under water ... it was roaring rapids.”
Thomas reported seeing jet skis on Garnett Street and noticed many rescue boats at work.
Jason Graham, Thomas’ friend and a resident of Garnett Street near Pecan Creek, said he had to evacuate. At first, he said, he thought it was just a leak in his roof.
“I woke up this morning and there was water - about two-and-a-half to three feet of water coming up over my mattress,” Graham said. “So I got up and went up to plug the leak, and realized it was the whole block under water. Then I watched my car float down the street.”
He reported watching a rescue of some children on a housetop and workers dragging people out of the water with safety lines.
Gail Trail, who lives near Frashser Street with her three children, said her next-door neighbor was on the roof with her children at around 10:30 a.m.
She said trailer homes near her house were reported to have floated off of their sites.
In southern Cooke County, Valley View Volunteer Fire Department engines and vehicles were positioned at Spring Creek Road to warn motorists of rising waters.
Tom Baker, press foreman for the Register, said he made it to work Monday morning but many in his crew had not.
“We haven’t missed a paper in 117 years,” Baker said.
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