Whether you’re moving to Dallas or considering making improvements to your DFW home, it’s important to know what kind of weather to expect. So, does Dallas flood a lot?
Compared to other parts of the country, Dallas is at risk of flooding a lot more than some other major U.S. cities due to a combination of factors, including rainfall and soil type.
Severe flooding can cause serious damage and even death, so it’s important to be prepared. Keep reading to learn about flooding in Dallas and how to prepare yourself and your home.
Does Dallas Flood A Lot?
Despite Texas’s global reputation as a dusty field of rattlesnakes and cowboys, the climate varies from region to region, and many areas, including Dallas, deal with serious flooding.
Flooding has affected Dallas throughout the city’s history, with major floods documented as early as 1844 and affecting residents as recently as August 2022.
Flash floods in August 2022 sent Dallas county into a state of emergency, causing extensive problems, including…
- Flooded streets
- Flooded homes
- Loss of power
- Limited access to emergency services
- Dead or missing livestock and pets
At least one person died in the recent flood when her vehicle was swept away by high water on the road.
Central Texas has “recorded over 500 flash flood events” in the past decade. There are other areas that don’t flood. Continue reading to understand why Dallas is so susceptible to flooding.
What Causes Flooding in Dallas?
Several factors work in combination to increase Dallas’s risk of severe flooding.
While misty cities like Portland, Oregon rain much more often than Dallas, Dallas records roughly the same annual rainfall in inches.
To put it simply, instead of getting a little bit of rain at a time throughout the year, like Portland, Dallas tends to get a lot of rain at once, which contributes to flash flooding events.
Dallas is also known for the amount of tornadoes they have as well.
An additional fact about precipitation in Dallas is that it doesn’t only get rain; it also gets snow and freezing temperatures!
The soil in Dallas contains large amounts of clay and rocks, which prevent water from absorbing into the ground. This can cause excess groundwater to runoff into areas of lower elevation.
Texas’ proximity to the Gulf of Mexico means that Dallas feels the effects of coastal storms, and mountains to the east act as a barrier, allowing storms to linger and resulting in heavy rainfall.
The Trinity River flows through Dallas and can flood during heavy rainfall. The area around the river is a floodplain, and many residents have been forced out due to flooding.
What Areas of Dallas Flood Most?
The areas of Dallas most at risk for flooding are those closest to preexisting bodies of water like the Trinity River, as well as areas of low elevation that receive runoff.
Although many residents have moved away from the Trinity River floodplain, leaving homes flooded and abandoned, many low-income Dallas residents do not have the option to move.
Areas also at a high risk of flooding include neighborhoods near lakes or those that have ponds, creeks, or other bodies of water that could overflow in the event of heavy rain.
There are numerous projects underway to reduce the risk of serious damage from flooding in Dallas.
However, if you live in a high-risk area, you should take steps to prepare. By preparing in advance, you can greatly reduce your likelihood of being harmed during a flood.
How to Prepare for Flash Floods
Floods, especially flash floods, can be very dangerous if unprepared. Luckily, you can take steps to protect yourself and your home from harm in the event of flooding.
If you live in an area at risk of flooding, don’t wait until it’s too late to start preparing. You should always be equipped with the following:
- Flood Insurance
- Home flood barriers
- A flood plan for every member of your household (including pets)
- Knowledge of evacuation routes and shelters
- Food, water, and first-aid supplies to last several days. You can create an emergency kit of your own or purchase an emergency kit online.
Pay close attention to severe weather and flood warnings in your area. You could be told to shelter in place or to evacuate. Either way, listen to local officials and follow safety procedures.
You can minimize damage to your home during floods by taking these steps ahead of time:
- Improve property grading, runoff, and drainage
- Maintain green space to absorb excess water
- Seal any cracks in your foundation
- Ensure all doors and windows seal properly
Property damage from flooding can be very expensive. If your home is in an area at risk of flooding, it’s best to spend money preparing rather than dealing with the damage afterward.
The city of Dallas regularly deals with heavy rainfall and flooding. It’s important to be aware of your neighborhood’s risk factors and to prepare yourself and your home in advance to stay safe.