More than 100 rescued in Southwest floods; 1 hiker missing


(NewsNation) — Heavy rain in Texas and much of the Southwest has lead to severe flash floods, but the downpour will help to combat building drought.

The National Weather Service has put flash flood warnings into effect for Dallas and surrounding counties, as the rest of the storm path has been placed under flood watch alerts.

Local TV station Fox4 reported flooding brought traffic to a standstill east of downtown Dallas Monday morning with multiple cars and trucks being abandoned due to the downpour.

More than 14 inches of rain have fallen since Sunday evening — a sudden onslaught that cause more than 100 rescues, 300 car crashes and delayed or canceled over 700 flights.

The greatest concentration of heavy rain capable of both drought-easing downpours and dangerous flash floods will stretch from northern Texas and southern Oklahoma to northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and central Mississippi.

As the rain ramps up in the Mid-South region, downpours are forecasted to dwindle over the Southwest.

Over the weekend, heavy monsoon-like storms produced flash floods in Utah and New Mexico.

Authorities have been searching for days for an Arizona woman reported missing after being swept away by floodwaters in Utah’s Zion National Park as strong seasonal rain storms hit parts of the Southwest.

National Park Service officials said rangers and members of the Zion Search and Rescue Team were in the Virgin River area Sunday looking for Jetal Agnihotri, 29, of Tucson.

They said Agnihotri was among several hikers who were swept off their feet Friday afternoon by rushing water in the popular Narrows area in the park, known for its spectacular red-rock cliffs and narrow canyons, in southern Utah near the Arizona border.

All of the hikers, except Agnihotri, were found on high ground and were stranded until water levels receded.

Flash flooding also left an estimated 200 people stranded at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in southern New Mexico on Saturday.

Park officials issued a shelter-in-place order for several hours Saturday at the park’s visitor center after the roads became impassable due to the flooding. Officials were finally able to allow people to safely leave the park before midnight on Saturday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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