In just 24 hours, Tarrant County went from experiencing one of its driest Augusts to one of its wettest. 

The National Weather Service reported 8.41 inches of rain in Fort Worth between Aug. 21 and Aug. 22, and 7.72 inches in Arlington. The deluge ranks the second highest total amount of rainfall ever recorded in a 24-hour period in North Texas. 

From Fort Worth farmers to Azle condo owners, residents across Tarrant County experienced torrential rainfall that entered their homes, endangered their livestock and brought new life to dry soil wracked by the worst drought in Texas since 2011. Here are some of their stories. 

Flash floods hit Kennedale homeowner twice in three months

Paul Hooper, a Kennedale homeowner, picks up dried mud outside his woodworking shop in July. Hooper claims his property was damaged by flooding exacerbated by Fort Worth’s Southeast Landfill, which sits across the street from his home. (David Moreno | Fort Worth Report)

The flash floods that hit Tarrant County this week felt like a bad case of deja vu for Paul Hooper, a Kennedale homeowner who lives across the road from Fort Worth’s Southeast Landfill. 

In June, a rainstorm caused gallons of mud to flood Hooper’s driveway, woodworking shop and his stepson’s small apartment. He blamed the incident on the city of Fort Worth and Republic Services, which told the Report that landfill operations did not contribute to the flooding. 

Hooper spent weeks seeking reimbursement, but the city denied his claim. Since then, Hooper has consulted with attorneys about how to move forward with his complaints. 

Then, on Aug. 22, Hooper watched an eerily similar train of events unfold. Mud flowed into his shop at rapid speeds. He could see bits of Styrofoam, paper plates and plastic bottles in the stormwater ditches near his home.

“We literally just got things really cleaned up and put back about two weeks ago,” Hooper said.  “It took that long. And then, boom, here we’re hit with it again.” 

Paul Hooper and his wife Cheryl have begun cleaning up the mud that covered the floors of their woodworking shop and an apartment where Cheryl’s son lives. (Courtesy photo | Paul Hooper)

While a Fort Worth crew repaired ditches near his home in July, Hooper said, the effort was not enough to prevent significant damage. Over the past two days, he has made repeated calls to the city of Fort Worth, Republic Services, Arlington’s stormwater department and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Few have yielded answers to his questions. 

The repeated incidents – along with the associated costs of cleaning – have Hooper and his wife Cheryl wondering if they can remain in their beloved home on North Dick Price Road. 

“It’s very emotional,” Hooper said. “My wife is just ready to clean it up and sell the property. But we’ll probably have to disclose that this has happened, and it would drive the property value way down.”

— Haley Samsel

Flood infrastructure concerns Como residents in west Fort Worth

Joanne Nelson, 74, has lived in Como for 32 years. Nelson’s backyard floods after heavy rainfall. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

Debris and trash flows into 32-year Como resident Joanne Nelson’s backyard during heavy rainfall.

A storm drain in the alley behind her home on Wilmington Drive clogs and overflows into her backyard and under her shed.

Debris stacks up near a storm drain on 3100 Sandage Avenue near Texas Christian University on Aug. 23, 2022. Historic rains hit Tarrant County on Aug. 22, causing flood damage and unpassable roads. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

“Behind my back fence all of that debris from the doctor’s office and from the tree line behind their church is all stacked up right there,” Nelson said. “That’s what the problem is. They don’t take care of that.”

Nelson said she’s called the City of Fort Worth Transportation and Public Works Department before but hasn’t felt much has been done.

“They got ripped T-shirts and face masks and all that stuff is coming from here,” Nelson said. “One time it was so much stuff, I made a little hole so the water would go through. It gets up into my little story building because I can’t get back there to keep that clean so the water flows through the fence line.”

Nelson’s next-door neighbor, Gregory Sanders, 62, who the Report spoke to previously in April, has not seen results either.

“If I put gutters up, I don’t really think that’ll help. I just don’t know what to do,” Nelson said. “You just complain and fight for so long that you just burn out.” 

— Cristian ArguetaSoto

Livestock evacuated near Trinity River in east Fort Worth

After decades living and working in east Fort Worth’s John T. White neighborhood, Julie Amendola is accustomed to floodwaters causing dangerous driving conditions.

But Amendola, the owner of the Trinity River Farm & Equestrian Center at 8375 Randol Mill Road, was caught off guard when the Trinity began to overflow and put her livestock at risk. Amendola cares for goats, miniature horses and full-size horses on the property. 

YouTube video
John T. White residents shared videos of flooding from a storm on June 3, 2022. (Rachel Behrndt | Fort Worth Report)

“We had moved a lot of our equipment in preparation for a potential flood, but we didn’t move all of our livestock because we really didn’t think it was going to happen,” Amendola said. “We were really scrambling to try and rescue all the small animals.” 

Eventually, she called the Fort Worth Fire Department, which arrived on the scene within 20 minutes to help move the animals into a specialized truck with a flatbed and lift. 

“They were able to drive to the back part of the property, load all the small animals up and get them to the front to higher ground,” Amendola said. “Our water got high enough that even our tractor couldn’t get back there.”

Thousands of adults, children and people with disabilities have visited the equestrian center for lessons and summer camps over the years. But an influx of housing development in the area has caused more intense flooding issues, according to Amendola and several of her John T. White neighbors

Flashers warn drivers of flood waters on Randol Mill Road near the John T. White neighborhood in east Fort Worth. Fort Worth will invest $10 million into flood mitigation between Randol Mill and Williams roads. (Rachel Behrndt | Fort Worth Report)

She has considered moving operations farther away from the Trinity River or spending thousands on flood mitigation projects. The cost of purchasing land and building the necessary structures has proven to be too high, she said. 

Fort Worth must take action to improve its stormwater infrastructure before it’s too late, Amendola said. 

“We certainly want our animals protected and our operations protected, but you have a potentially lethal situation on Randol Mill Road during flash floods with no shoulder on the road,” Amendola said. “If the right set of circumstances occur, a person that goes off the road when there’s water in those bar ditches could potentially drown.” 

— Haley Samsel

Flooding was ‘just out of control’ in Azle

Floodwaters entered condos in Snug Harbor Village, near Eagle Mountain Lake in Azle. (Courtesy video | Dan Dowell)

Dan Dowell received the first video of flooding near his Azle condominium complex at 9:34 a.m. Monday. Within 30 minutes, he had about a dozen in his inbox.

“It was just out of control out here,” Dowell said. “Several of the condos have been completely washed out. We’ve got air conditioning units that have fallen three and four feet into the ground. The dirt is completely gone within four feet of some of the condos in front. I mean, it’s dangerous out here.”

The condominiums on Harbor Drive sit just west of Eagle Mountain Lake, where residents have previously complained of flood damage stemming from construction of nearby housing developments.

Dowell, the president of the Snug Harbor Village Condo Owners Association, said the extreme rainfall was exacerbated by a lack of stormwater infrastructure near his complex. Azle’s fire marshal dispatched Red Cross volunteers to the scene, who helped at least five people spend the night elsewhere because they felt unsafe even after rain stopped, Dowell said.

Snug Harbor Village residents have flood insurance policies, Dowell said, and they are scheduled to meet with an adjuster Thursday morning. He plans to ask Azle City Council to take action on flood mitigation at their next meeting.

For now, Dowell is trying to help his neighbors navigate fallout from the storm. During a 20-minute interview with the Report, he received three phone calls from concerned residents.

The Aug. 22 storm sent rushing water throughout Azle, especially near Eagle Mountain Lake. (Courtesy video | Dan Dowell)

“It’s raining here right now,” Dowell said Tuesday afternoon. “If we get any further erosion, I can’t even imagine what might happen next.”

— Haley Samsel

Just the right amount of rain for Fort Worth farmer

A woman in green overalls stands in front of a table of fruits and vegetables
Breanne Lovely, farmer at Stone’s Throw Farm in Fort Worth, stands in front of the farm’s pop up stand in the Fairmount neighborhood of Fort Worth. Lovely said the rain delayed picking some crops. The farm’s owner, Trish Stone, said the rain is good for growing crops amid a harsh summer drought. (Seth Bodine | Fort Worth Report)

For some, the rain was a disaster. For Trish Stone, farmer and founder of Stone’s Throw Farm in southwest Fort Worth, the rain was a blessing. 

Tarrant County is in a severe drought stretching much of Texas, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

“We really needed the rain,” Stone said.

It’s been tough growing crops this year, she said. The soil is dry, and the farm tried to plant crops that do well in dry environments, such as corn, cantaloupe and okra. They also put up shade cloth to protect the fruits and vegetables across the farm’s acre of land. Still, some plants didn’t produce crops.

Stone’s Throw Farm grows fruits, vegetables, and makes other products such as pickles and jam on an acre of land in southwest Fort Worth. Farmers have been growing in harsh drought conditions this summer. The rain presented relief for the farmers at Stone’s Throw, just enough that the farm didn’t flood. (Seth Bodine | Fort Worth Report)

Their side of town received about four inches of rain. If they got more than six inches, she said, it would cause flooding. 

— Seth Bodine

Historic flooding in Fort Worth’s West 7th, downtown neighborhoods

Videos on social media showed city streets in Fort Worth such as West 7th Street turning into what looked like a river.

This is far from the first time Fort Worth has seen historic floods. On May 16, 1949, Fort Worth received six to 12 inches of rain, which overflowed the Trinity River. The flooding killed 10 people and caused $11 million in damages, according to the Fort Worth Public Library’s Digital Archives.

Westward aerial view of the floodwaters resulting from the convergence of the Clear Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River, dated May 17, 1949. (Fort Worth Public Library Digital Archives)

Footage from the Fort Worth Police Historical Association shows emergency workers tending to a flood victim and flooding at the intersection of West 7th Street and University Drive, Camp Bowie Boulevard and Bailey Avenue.

Footage from the Fort Worth Police Historical Association shows emergency workers tending to a flood victim and flooding at the intersection of West 7th Street and University Drive, Camp Bowie Boulevard and Bailey Avenue.

Fort Worth has more than $1 billion in stormwater structural improvement needs according to a 2016 floodplain management plan issued by city staff.

“Not out of the question, but expensive. It would require more resources than the city can currently afford,” Costa said. “One option is for property owners to pay for those improvements, but that would be a very expensive proposition.”

— Seth Bodine

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Haley Samsel is the environmental reporter for the Fort Worth Report. You can reach them at Her coverage is made possible by a grant from the Marilyn Brachman Hoffman...

Seth Bodine is the business reporter for the Fort Worth Report. He previously covered agriculture and rural issues in Oklahoma for the public radio station, KOSU, as a Report for America corps member....

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...