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Flash Flood Emergency issued in Texas as life-threatening flooding swamps South

KIRBYVILLE, Texas – A is underway in East on Wednesday after dropped up to a foot of rain in some areas, with several more inches expected to fall throughout the day.

A across the South with the ongoing threat of , , and damaging for the lower Mississippi Valley and .

The National Weather Service office in , , issued a Flash Flood Emergency for parts of Jasper, Newton and Tyler counties in southeastern Texas through 11:30 a.m. CDT, including and .

Flood alerts in effect across the South.
(FOX Weather)

A Flash Flood Emergency is the most severe alert that the NWS can issue and means there is life-threatening flooding and catastrophic damage already happening or expected to occur soon.

“If a Flash Flood Emergency is called for your town, that’s the worst of the worst when it comes to flash flooding,” FOX Weather Meteorologist said. “It’s a very rare warning that is only given when there is a significant risk to loss of property and loss of life.”

In Jasper County, all major roads into Kirbyville were closed on Wednesday morning due to flooding. Multiple fire departments deployed from around the region are conducting water rescues.

The said rescue teams have extricated several people from flooded homes and vehicles.

“The City of Kirbyville remains underwater and is still the major concern at this time,” the sheriff’s office said.

Kirbyville Mayor George Frank told FOX Weather he estimated about a foot of rain had fallen in the community near the Texas-Louisiana state line.

I thought I’d seen everything when I saw Harvey,” Frank said of the 2017 that made landfall in Texas.

Frank said the volunteer swift-water rescue team has been helping stranded people, as both ends of Highway 96 are underwater.

We were expecting some heavy rains, but nothing this major,” Frank said.

Over the past 12 hours, radar estimated rain totals of 15.4 inches near Newton and 13.3 inches in . In 24 hours, measured 7.60 inches.

imageTop rain reports.
(FOX Weather)

“Middle of the night water rushing into your home – that’s the reality for thousands of people across East Texas,” Merwin said. “Of course, the direct impact is smaller than that number, but the entire town is being looked at. It’s a heartbreaking scenario.”

The FOX Forecast Center said repeated rounds of storms capable of torrential rain will continue to roll through the Southeast through Thursday.

The storms moving through Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday are tapping into moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and dropping rain at over 2 inches per hour.

This comes as the South is already between 5 and 8 inches of rain above average for the year.

imageYear-to-date rain totals.
(FOX Weather)