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Texas County Gets 11 Inches of Rain in 6 Hours

Texas county deluged by floods

CNN.com, April 26, 2002

ALBANY, Texas (CNN) -- Eleven inches of rain fell over a few hours Thursday in northwest Texas, covering Shackelford County with fast-moving muddy water and forcing several families from their homes, officials said.

Rescuers were searching for one person missing in the floods, said Joyce Tabor, a Sheriff's Department dispatcher. There were no reports of injuries.

The rain began around noon (1 p.m. EDT) and ended about 6:30 p.m., Tabor said. A half hour later, the water began receding. The town of Albany received about 5 1/2 inches of rain.

"We have evacuated some families out of low-lying areas. They're being housed in our churches," the dispatcher said.

A long-term drought contributed to the flooding, because the ground couldn't absorb the heavy rain fast enough, and creeks overflowed. "It's just more water than we can handle," Tabor said.

In Albany, Rusty Hogan was driving his Chevrolet pickup when he encountered the floodwaters.

"I was going down the road, and it just took me away," said Hogan, standing in a dry patch within sight of his submerged truck.

"Just by surprise, it just took my truck and I hit a couple of trees. And then I jumped out, me and my friend did ... and we just luckily got away."

More storms were expected overnight and into Friday, with partly cloudy skies forecast for the weekend. Albany, which is northwest of Abilene, is about 115 miles west of Fort Worth.