Texas declares state of emergency amid severe flooding

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared emergencies in more than 20 counties after extreme rain triggered flash floods. Monday's deluge was part of a wave of severe weather across the Southwest. John Yang reports.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    The governor of Texas has declared emergencies in more than 20 counties after extreme rain triggered flash floods. Monday's deluge was part of a wave of severe weather across the Southwest.

    John Yang reports.

  • John Yang:

    Across Dallas this week, residents awoke to knee-deep waters.

  • Person:

    OK, hi, Internet. I'm freaking out. I just woke up and I — should I call 911? What do I do?

  • John Yang:

    Flash flooding sent waters gushing down corridors and turned roads into rivers. A nearby cemetery looked more like a river delta, water streaming around headstones.

    Fort Worth reported up to 15 inches of rainfall Monday, as drivers battled seas of floodwater on their daily commutes. Some were left stranded.

  • Villegas Sergio, Flash Flood Victim:

    I was getting off work, and I had no other way to go. I was trying to go through the highway, and there is water everywhere.

  • John Yang:

    The deluge came days after much of Texas was under extreme drought conditions. It's a phenomenon scientists call weather whiplash, when conditions fueled by climate change lurch from one extreme to another, and rain falls faster than parched soil can absorb it, triggering flash flooding.

    Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott visited Dallas, where Monday's rainfall was among the heaviest in decades.

  • Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX):

    We have more than 100 homes being damaged or impacted in some way.

  • John Yang:

    Recent days have also seen flooding across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, in Utah, the waters cascading down canyons, while flooding swept through streets in Moab.

  • Person:

    Unbelievable. There is the diner.

  • John Yang:

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm John Yang.

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