Flooding across Texas could lead to insurance claims of more than $1.1 billion, topping the amount paid to policyholders after Tropical Storm Allison wreaked havoc in 2001. It's unclear how many claims will be filed in all, but the amount will likely be staggering, the Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday.
Texas officials continued to rescue scores of people from flash flooding early Friday, as another round of storms was expected to pound the region over the weekend. Residents were also warned about the threat of hail, tornadoes and thunderstorms.
Tarik Hawkins, 30, who works for a Dallas freight company, said he became stranded while trying to travel to work. "It's extremely dangerous out there," he said. "I drive a Mustang, and in some areas the water has been coming up to the hood. The people who have tried to drive through have become stuck, so there are tow trucks and firetrucks rescuing people. I've never seen anything like this before."
Police and fire personnel were helping to rescue stranded motorists across central Texas. Dallas alone saw nearly 100 people in cars rescued from flooding in the city overnight, assistant emergency management coordinator Kevin Oden told NBC News. Johnson County emergency management coordinator Jamie Moore told NBC News that 45 roads had been closed in the area. Johnson County is located about 54 miles south of Dallas.
At least 23 people have died in flooding across the state this week. The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport saw more than 100 flight cancellations on Thursday and Friday, according to FlightAware.com.
The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for 21 Texas communities including Johnson, Travis and Bastrop counties.
In 2001, more than 14,000 homes were destroyed or heavily damaged, with an additional 34,000 homes suffering at least minor damage, after Tropical Storm Allison swept through, the National Hurricane Center found.