From drought to deluge: Texas, 3 other parched states brace for flooding

Story highlights

  • Texas authorities putting equipment, personnel in position for high-water rescues
  • Heavy rains bring flooding to parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana
  • Hurricane Patricia's remnants could bring yet more rain

(CNN)Texas authorities were preparing Friday for possible flooding from a complex storm system that already has dumped as much as 5 inches of rain on parts of the parched state.

Portions of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana also were at risk.
The National Weather Service said an upper disturbance interacting with Hurricane Patricia in the Pacific had poured as much as 5.5 inches of rain across southeastern Oklahoma and parts of Texas since Thursday. The deluge followed months of drought.
    Still ahead: The potential for 4 more inches Friday and even heavier rains Saturday, especially for the eastern two-thirds of south-central Texas. Five to 10 inches of rain may fall in some areas, the weather service predicted. Western counties could see 1-3 inches of rain.
    There's also a threat of isolated tornadoes Saturday when a low-pressure systems moves across the Rio Grande plains, the weather service said.
    The Texas Division of Emergency Management urged rescue groups to have equipment and personnel in place in case of high-water rescues.
    The Texas Task Force has provided 11 rescue swimmers for helicopter search-and-rescue teams and has seven water-rescue boat squads positioned along the I-35 corridor, a press release said.
    Flash-flood warnings were up in parts of the region Friday afternoon, with broader flash-flood warnings covering parts of Texas and Oklahoma into the weekend.
    In Louisiana, the weather service said the greatest threat was street flooding during periods of heavy rain and coastal flooding.
    The threat of floods may sound like a deadly replay for Texans.
    In May, heavy rains caused floods that killed at least 15, plus at least six in Oklahoma.
    This year, much of east Texas -- and all of northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and west-central Mississippi -- have suffered through extreme or exceptional drought, the two highest classifications, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.