Beginning the first week of May 2015, severe storms and heavy rain in Oklahoma and Texas caused tornadoes and flooding that resulted in significant loss of life and property damage. As of May 26, the respective governors had issued disaster declarations for all of Oklahoma’s 77 counties and over 40 of Texas’ 254 counties.
On May 29, the governor of Louisiana issued a State of Emergency proclamation regarding flooding on the Red River and other Louisiana water bodies. By June 10, the River was well above flood stage at several locations, including Shreveport.
You can get a quick overview of May 2015 rainfall and river rises in Oklahoma and Texas from the following comment from U.S. Drought Monitor for May 26, 2015 (the weekly Drought Monitor, produced by the University of Lincoln-Nebraska, is available online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/).
“…By May 26, month-to-date rainfall totals climbed to 18.97 inches in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and 14.53 inches in Wichita Falls, Texas. In both locations, those values represent the highest monthly totals on record. Previously, Oklahoma City’s wettest month had been June 1989, with 14.66 inches, while Wichita Falls’ had been May 1982, with 13.22 inches. Oklahoma City’s total was boosted by a daily-record total (3.73 inches) on May 23, part of a broad heavy rain event that led to catastrophic flash flooding in portions of the south-central U.S. In Texas, for example, preliminary [U.S. Geological Survey] data indicated that the Blanco River at Wimberly rose more than 35 feet in less than 8 hours, cresting on May 24 at 27.21 feet above flood stage. he preliminary high-water mark at Wimberly was 6.91 feet above the previous record set on May 28, 1929. The San Marcos River near Martinsdale, Texas, surged more than 51 feet in less than 24 hours on May 23-24, based on initial data.
Following are several government and news media sources of information about these ongoing situations.
National Weather Service “River Observations” Web page, at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/#. At this page, you can view a color-coded map of the current and expected flood status at river gages across the United States, and you can click on each location for more detailed information. Similar information is available from the NWS/Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center’s “River Forecast Centers” page, at http://water.weather.gov/ahps/rfc/rfc.php.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Disaster Declarations Web page, https://www.fema.gov/disasters#. A federal major-disaster declaration was issued for Oklahoma on May 26 and for Texas on May 29.
Louisiana’s emergency-management Web site, at http://emergency.louisiana.gov/.
Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, situation reports for “Severe Weather Event—May 6 and Continuing,” online at http://www.ok.gov/OEM/Emergencies_&_Disasters/2015/20150506_Severe_Weather_Event/;
Texas Department of Public Safety, Situation Reports for “8 May 2015 Severe Weather Event,” online at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/sitrepindex.htm.
Louisiana State of Emergency Proclamation, 5/29/15, online at http://gohsep.la.gov/agencyrelated/85_BJ_2015_Imminent_Threat_of_Flooding.pdf.
Governor Mary Fallin Announces Federal Assistance Granted for Oklahomans Devastated by Storms, Floods; All 77 Counties Now Under a State of Emergency, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management News Release, 5/26/15.
Governor Abbott Adds 24 Counties To Disaster Declaration, Texas Governor’s Office News Release, 5/25/15.
National Weather Service/Storm Prediction Center, daily storm reports, online at http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/archive/event.php?date=20150527.
News Media Sources
Shreveport Times – ongoing coverage, online at http://www.shreveporttimes.com/.
The Oklahoman – ongoing coverage, online at http://www.oklahoman.com/live.
Houston Chronicle – ongoing coverage at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-weather/.
Dallas Morning News – Flood-control effort in Dallas area a daunting task, 5/27/15 (with links to related articles).
PBS NewsHour – More rain adds to Texas flooding, disrupts river rescue search (2 min/14 sec), 5/27/15; and Could more have been done to prepare for Texas floods? (5 min./43 sec.), 5/27/15.